The Tech men’s basketball season continued through Thanksgiving break with the team racking up wins over Coastal Carolina University and East Tennessee State University and a loss to the University of Evansville.
Coastal Carolina came to the Hoop Nov. 15 to get a taste of the Golden Eagles.
Tech trailed at halftime of the game 35-30 behind the Chanticleers’ Anthony Raffa’s 25 points.
However, the Golden Eagles had a star outshine Raffa to push Tech toward the victory.
Jud Dillard picked up his first double-double of the season, scoring 35 points and grabbing 12 boards.
“It was a great win,” Steve Payne, head coach, said. “We could have folded.”
Despite trailing by five at the half, the Golden Eagles out-played the Chanticleers in the second half by scoring 41 points compared to Coastal Carolina’s 34 to polish off the close 71-69 victory for Tech.
The Golden Eagles carried that momentum east down I-40 to take on the Buccaneers of East Tennessee State Nov. 17.
Tech went to the locker room at halftime trailing 29-26.
However, powered by Dillard’s second double-double in as many games, the Golden Eagles outscored the Buccaneers 39-33 in the second half to complete back-to-back one possession victories with a final score of 65-62 over ETSU.
“Jud’s just playing good basketball,” Payne said. “It’s hard to coach against a guy like that when they are that relaxed and just playing ball.”
Dillard scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds but also had a good showing from his supporting cast to aid in the team’s second half comeback.
Jeremiah Samarrippas, Tech’s transfer from Southern Methodist University, sank a clutch jumper with less than 15 minutes remaining to give the Golden Eagles the lead.
Freshman guard Ammanual Diressa knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to extend the lead.
The Golden Eagle loss to Evansville Nov. 20 was the first loss of the season.
“They are usually an NCAA tournament caliber team,” Terrell Barnes, senior member of the men’s basketball team, said. “It gives us a good measuring stick, so we can evaluate ourselves.”
Once again, Tech trailed at halftime by a score of 33-17.
Tech actually held a 15-11 lead midway through the first half but only scored two points during the last 10 minutes before halftime.
The Purple Aces’ scoring attack was led by a 15-point performance from Ned Cox, while Tech’s leading scorers, Lanerryl Johnson and Dennis Ogbe, had 10 points each.
The Golden Eagles were dominated on the boards and were outscored on second chance points 14-3 by Evansville, leading to the 62-50 victory for the Purple Aces.
Tech now has a 3-1 overall record.
They will travel to Nashville tonight to take on the Bisons of Lipscomb University at 7 p.m. before returning home to face Berea University Dec. 3 and the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay Dec. 6.