BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Maaliya Owens and Jada Guinn each scored 18 points and Tennessee Tech won its eighth straight game with a 79-69 victory over Monmouth on Thursday night in the First Four.
Tennessee Tech (23-9), the No. 16 seed, advances to face top-seeded Indiana in the first round on Saturday. The Golden Eagles won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1990.
The Golden Eagles made 10 3-pointers in the first half — after averaging just 6.5 makes this season. Peyton Carter had four 3-pointers, Owens sank all three of her attempts and Jordan Brock also made three. Tennessee Tech finished the game 12 of 26 from distance.
Owens scored seven points in the third quarter and Tennessee Tech closed on an 11-5 run for a 54-44 lead. Monmouth got within six points with 4:31 left in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Ariana Vanderhoop. Reghan Grimes grabbed an offensive rebound at the other end and put it back and Tennessee Tech’s lead didn’t drop below eight points the rest of the way.
Brock finished with 16 points and Carter added 12 points for Tennessee Tech. Owens made four 3-pointers to set the program record for makes in a season. Guinn had six assists.
The Golden Eagles made eight straight field goals and closed the first half on a 12-4 run to take a 40-33 lead. Owens started the run of 10 straight points with a 3-pointer, Brock added a 3 on the next possession, Reagan Hurst sank a baseline jumper and Guinn converted a layup to close the run.
Vanderhoop scored 17 points and Lucy Thomas added 16 for Monmouth (18-16), which was trying for its first win in the tournament since 1983. Bri Tinsley, averaging a team-high 12.1 points per game, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with 11 points.
Monmouth won four games in four days to win the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. The Hawks made history as the first No. 7 seed to win the CAA title after knocking off the number one, two and three seeds.