So, most of you may have heard of college teams playing offseason tune-ups. More often than not these are around when football season starts, and in far-off, exotic places such as Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Canada. As earlier reported by Catlin, Tennessee Tech chose to take their team to the Dominican Republic.
Most teams go, have some fun, do some community service and give back to the community that plays host, and just generally have a good time while staying in form by flavoring some professional overseas talent. Tech did that, but also got to hardwood business right away, facing the Puerto Plata Selection Team and started on the right note Wednesday, winning by a hefty score of 81-62, at one point flying out by 30 over the Dominican squad.
Anthony Morse, junior big man, powered his way to 15 points and 13 rebounds, a double-double, while Josiah Moore was the team’s points leader, scoring 17 points. But the Golden Eagles weren’t done for the day, in the evening they faced the Metros de Santiago, the defending Dominican professional league (LNB) champions, rolling another victory, this time by 19 points, 97-78. Josiah Moore lead the scoring in the game as well, posting 15 points as well as 6 rebounds.
“That was a good quality win for us” Tennessee Tech head coach Steve Payne commented on the win. Center Dwan Caldwell collected 5 points and 3 rebounds in limited action for the Golden Eagles after being out due to injury.
Tech wasn’t done yet however, they took on the Dominican Republic National U-18 team Thursday, winning by a healthy 13-point margin, 78-65. Coach Steve Payne said after the game, “This was a good win for us, we were a little banged up, so it was really nice to see the guys overcome some adversity and play hard. We still have a good amount of work to do, but the guys have been performing very well and I’m proud.”
Tech suffered their first, and only loss, against the Dominican Republic National Selection Team. The Golden Eagles lost 69-67, after a last-second jumper rimmed out at the buzzer. It was the Golden Eagles fourth game in only three days, they did however, get a rest day on Saturday.
Tennessee Tech got back to business on Sunday, playing another Dominican professional squad, this time the Caneros de La Romana, considered a top professional team in the LNB. The game was a bit closer to Tech’s temporary home, as they stayed in La Romana and did most of their community work in the city.
The Golden Eagles ended up pulling out their closest victory of the trip, an eight-point victory, 84-76, thus ending their overseas trip to the Dominican Republic. The Golden Eagles leave the Dominican Republic with an impressive 4-1 record despite playing five games in five days, a mark that a lot of teams would envy coming back home. The Golden Eagles return stateside Tuesday, August 19th.