BY SCOTT WILSON
Kim Rosamond knew that Tennessee Tech’s basketball game Thursday with visiting Jacksonville State University was going to be tough. The Gamecocks are a physically strong, talented team that annually contends for the top spot in the Ohio Valley Conference.
However, she may not have known just how tough it was going to be. The Tech women’s coach watched her team shoot only 27 percent from the field, including 12 percent in the first period, commit 16 turnovers and get outscored in the paint 36-10 on the way to dropping a 66-50 decision.
“It was a tough one in every way,” said Rosamond. “They were tougher than we were, they were more physical than we were in every way. In three of the last four games, we have played the most physical teams in the league and we have had difficulty with them.”
The loss drops Tech to 16-8 on the year and 9-4 in the conference. Jacksonville State improves to 11-13 and 7-6.
“I thought we actually got some good looks in the first quarter, but when you shoot 12 percent you are not finishing,” Rosamond said. “I thought we rebounded in the second, but they came back in the third quarter and just shut us down.”
Trailing by only six at the half, the Golden Eagles came out firing in the third period. Kesha Brady tried to bring Tech back in the game with four points early. However, Destiney Elliott scored JSU’s first nine points of the period to keep the Golden Eagles at bay. A 3-pointer by Elliott made it 33-23 with 5:22 to go in the period.
Tech got baskets from Abby Buckner and Akia Harris, but the Golden Eagles couldn’t make up much ground and trailed 45-30 heading into the final period.
“We couldn’t keep them out of the paint today, we couldn’t guard them one on one and we couldn’t keep them in front of us,” Rosamond said. “They kept turning the corner and getting to the rim. The points in the paint were ridiculous.”
Jordan Brock led Tech in scoring with 13 point on the night. Brady scored 11 and Buckner chipped in 11 off the bench.
Elliott led the Gamecocks with a game-high 22 points.
“Defensively, Jacksonville manned up,” Rosamond said. “They said, ‘we’re going to make you go one on one, we’re going to make you finish at the rim.’ They made it tough for our shooters to get any open looks. Today, we struggled today on both ends of the floor.”
Tech hits the road to visit Tennessee State on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.