Richmond, Ky. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team fought back from a double-digit deficit but it wasn't enough as the Lady Tigers fell to Eastern Kentucky, 62-54, Monday night in McBrayer Arena.
Tennessee State (8-11, 4-4 OVC) overcame a double-digit deficit and led, 49-48, with about five minutes left to play but Eastern Kentucky (12-7, 6-2 OVC) outscored the Lady Tigers, 12-3, down the stretch to keep the game out of reach.
Simone Hopes led the Lady Tigers with 17 points to go with five steals while Jasmin Shuler added 16. Kesi Hess finished the game with nine points and eight rebounds. Rachel Allen tallied seven points and recorded six assists.
EKU improved to 10-1 at home and was led in scoring by Marie Carpenter's 19. Jade Barber had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
TSU shot 31.6 percent from the field, 25 percent from beyond the arc and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line.
Tennessee State got off to a hot start shooting nearly 60 percent from the field in the opening five minutes. TSU built its lead up to 10-2 before EKU cut the lead down to two points.
The score was, 14-12, in favor of TSU when a three-pointer by Kesi Hess sparked a 9-0 rally that put the Lady Tigers on top, 23-12, with four minutes left in the first half.
TSU went into the halftime break leading, 24-18.
In the opening five minutes of the second half, Eastern Kentucky erased TSU's lead and captured the advantage, 31-28. Over the next several possessions the home team scored seven unanswered to move ahead by double-digits.
The Lady Tigers chopped the deficit down to five behind an, 8-0, rally that included buckets from Jasmin Shuler and Simone Hopes, but the Lady Colonels answered with a few baskets to move back up, 47-38.
TSU once again rallied and used an 8-1 run to pull within two at 5:28 mark. The Lady Tigers reclaimed the lead, 49-48, when Kesi Hess knocked down a triple from the top of the key.
EKU however responded with eight consecutive points to recapture the advantage, 55-49, with less than a minute left in the game. TSU could not complete the comeback.
Tennessee State was outrebounded, 48-38 and committed 15 turnovers in the contest.
Tennessee State will not return to action until next Monday, Feb. 4, when the Lady Tigers host divisional rival Tennessee Tech. TTU claimed the first meeting between the two teams, 80-77, in the Eblen Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.