Edwardsville, Ill. --- In a hard fought battle, the Tennessee State University women's basketball team dropped a, 75-69, decision to SIU Edwardsville Monday night in the Vadalabene Center.
Tennessee State (11-14, 7-7 OVC) was led in scoring by Jasmin Shuler 's season-high 25 points while Kesi Hess added 21. Simone Hopes led the Lady Tigers with eight rebounds and Rachel Allen dished out nine assists.
SIU Edwardsville (14-13, 8-7 OVC) qualified for the OVC Tournament with the win and was led in scoring by Tierny Austin's 16 points. Raven Berry had a double-double with 15 points and 18 rebounds.
TSU shot 32.4 percent from the field, including 32.0 percent from the three-point line. The Lady Tigers lost the battle of the boards, 54-36, and made 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) from the free-throw line.
SIUE made 42 percent of its shots from the field and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Cougars made 28-of-45 free-throws in the contest.
The game was knotted at 4-all when Kesi Hess knocked down a three-pointer that sparked an 11-4 run to put the Lady Tigers on top, 18-8. SIUE scored the next two buckets but TSU answered with back-to- back triples to make the score, 24-12, in favor of TSU.
With 7:23 on the clock, Tennessee State extended its lead to 29-16 when Tanesha Stenson knocked down the Lady Tigers' fifth three-pointer of the half. From there, however, TSU went cold and only made one more a field goal for the rest of the frame. During TSU's drought, SIUE used a 16-2 run to take the lead, 32-31, with 54 seconds on the clock.
The teams played to a 55-55 deadlock midway through the second half before SIUE scored four unanswered to go ahead. The Lady Tigers battled back to within one on a free-throw by Simone Hopes but the Cougars once again created a little distance, 67-61.
The Cougars stretched the advantage to, 71-63, with just under two minutes remaining when Kesi Hess connected from the top of the key to cut the deficit down to five.
TSU pulled to within three with 59 seconds left but the Lady Tigers ran out of time. SIUE was able to hold on for the win.
The Lady Tigers return to action at home on Thursday, Feb. 28 for the "Sport Girls Rock" game against Morehead State. Tip-off is slated for 12 noon in the Gentry Center.