Mobile, Ala. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball suffered through a late second-half scoring drought that led to the Lady Tigers falling to South Alabama, 59-43, on the road Monday night.
Tennessee State (1-1) was leading, 39-38, when South Alabama (2-0) used a 21-4 run to pull away and claim the win.
The Jaguars were led in scoring by Mary Nixon's 16 points while Brianna Wright recorded 11 rebounds.
Both teams began the game with high-energy on the defensive end as the score was only 10-10 at the 10:01 mark. TSU fell behind by three before Kesi Hess nailed a triple from the corner to pull the Lady Tigers even.
The game was tied, 13-13, when South Alabama posted five straight to go ahead, 18-13.
The Lady Tigers answered with an 8-2 run of their own to briefly capture the lead, 21-20, with 3:16 remaining in the half. TSU, however, was outscored, 6-0, in the final three minutes and went into the halftime break trailing, 26-21.
Tennessee State fell behind, 29-23, in the second frame but seven straight points from Jasmin Shuler put the Lady Tigers on top, 30-29.
The Jaguars responded with nine unanswered points to regain the lead, 38-30, but another rally by the Lady Tigers, capped by Chelsea Hudson's three-point play, made the score, 39-38, in favor of TSU (8:48).
USA once again answered, this time with back-to-back three-pointers to move ahead, 44-39, with 7:14 left to play.
Empty possessions began to hamper the Lady Tigers over the next several minutes as the Jaguars built their advantage to, 54-39, with 2:46 on the clock.
With 1:28 on the clock, Simone Hopes found the bottom of the basket to snap TSU's nearly nine-minute scoring drought. USA knocked down a couple of quick buckets in the final moments to make the final score, 59-43.
TSU forced USA into 26 turnovers but also committed 24 in the contest. South Alabama also held the advantage in rebounds, 42-35.
The Lady Tigers showed improvement from the free-throw line since their last outing, knocking down 7-of-9 from the charity stripe. TSU also shot 30.4 percent (17-of-56) from the field and 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from beyond the arc.
Tennessee State will have a week off before returning to action against Big 12 member Kansas State on Nov. 20. The Lady Tigers will host the Wildcats at 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.