Murray, Ky. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team couldn't hold off a late second half run by Murray State as the Racers defeated the Lady Tigers, 66-56, Monday night in the CFSB Center.
In a game that featured nine ties and six lead changes, Murray State used a 17-9 run down the stretch to come away with the victory.
Murray State (10-14, 6-5 OVC) had three players to register double-digits led by Erica Burgess' 16. Tessa Elkins had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Kyra Watson followed with 10 points.
TSU was trailing, 5-4, when Murray State hit back-to-back three-pointers to go ahead, 11-4. Destiney Gaston connected in the paint to end a three-minute scoring drought before Kesi Hess knocked down a triple to pull TSU within two.
A couple of minutes later, the Lady Tigers knotted the score at 13-all behind consecutive buckets from Avery Jones.
TSU briefly took the lead following a couple of free-throws by Rachel Allen but MSU answered with a 5-0 run to regain the advantage.
The Lady Tigers once again evened the game, 21-21, but the Racers outscored TSU, 9-4, to go up, 30-25. TSU closed out the half with a 5-2 run to go into the break trailing, 32-30.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the second stanza before TSU fell behind, 34-30. Two quick lay-ups from Rachel Allen and Kim Haynes knotted the score before MSU responded with a spurt to move ahead, 41-36.
TSU climbed back to within one, 41-40, at the 12:15 mark before Simone Hopes drained a couple of freebies to give the Lady Tigers the lead.
From there it was a see-saw battle that went back and forth.
At the 7:58 mark, the teams had played to a 47-47 deadlock, when Murray State posted seven unanswered points to capture a, 54-47, lead.
The Lady Tigers cut the deficit down to four twice but the Racers used another rally to stretch the lead up to double-digits, 63-53, with 2:30 left in the game.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Rachel Allen made the score, 63-56, but that would be as close as the Lady Tigers would get.
TSU struggled offensively and shot 28.0 percent (21-of-75) from the field including 18.2 percent (4-of-22) from the three-point line. The Lady Tigers also stumbled at the free-throw line, only connecting on 66.7 percent of their attempts.
Murray State knocked down nearly 40 percent of its shots (39.1) from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Tennessee State returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 11 for the first game of a three-game home stint when the Lady Tigers host Tennessee Tech in the first contest of a double-header. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.