CHARLESTON, Ill. – Rachel Allen tallied a career high 22 points in the Lady Tigers Ohio Valley Conference opener at Eastern Illinois on Saturday. Tennessee State (3-11, 0-1) dropped a hard fought 80-70 decision to the Panthers (6-6, 1-0).
Jayda Johnson added 11 points, while Chelsea Hudson chipped in 10 to give the Lady Tigers three scorers in double digits. The Panthers Sabina Oroszova led all scorers with 26 points.
The Panthers scored the first four points of the game and led 6-5 when Chelsea Hudson stripped a ball near half court and converted the layup to give TSU their first lead of the game, 7-6. Rachel Allen followed with a steal of her own seconds later leading to a Jayda Johnson fast break layup for a three point lead.
EIU regained advantage, 12-11, at 12:16, but the lead was short lived as Brianna Lawrence drained a three-pointer from the corner on the next TSU possession.
The Panthers received a three-pointer from Kaitlyn Payne to give EIU a 27-26 lead, their first advantage in close to 16 minutes. Allen answered back taking the ball back down the court and convert on a hoop and a foul to put the Lady Tigers on top 29-27 with 1:18 on the clock. EIU charged back scoring seven points in a 47 second span to open a five point lead. Allen gave TSU some momentum entering the locker room with a jumper in the paint to cut the lead to three, 34-31, with one tick on the clock.
The Lady Tigers came out fast from the break, scoring the first seven points of the second half to take a 38-34 lead. The Panthers reversed roles from the first half and went on a 15-3 run to build a 49-41 lead. LaTeasha Hill would stop the run with a layup and was followed by a three by Allen cutting the home teams’ advantage to three, 49-46.
TSU tried to get back in the game as I'mani Davis hit a three as time expired on the shot clock making the score 63-57. Johnson continued the charge with a steal and a layup bringing TSU to within four with 6:17 remaining. Hudson would add a free throw 30 seconds later making the score 65-60. EIU would end the threat and maintain the lead with the Lady Tigers getting no closer than three points at 67-64 at 4:31 of the final half. The Panthers closed out the game outscoring TSU 13-6 for an 80-70 victory.
The Lady Tigers return home to take on Jacksonville State on Jan. 4. Game time is set for 5:30pm in the Gentry Center.