Clarksville, Tenn. --- Despite chopping a 20-point second half deficit down to two points, Tennessee State could not close the deal in a tough, 74-66, road loss to Austin Peay.
Tennessee State (7-18, 3-11 OVC) played tough the whole game but suffered through a few scoring droughts that helped Austin Peay (10-16, 9-5 OVC) pull out the win.
After the lead wavered back and forth, the teams played to a 19-19 tie with 7:31 left in the first half. With the score tied, Austin Peay used a 15-5 run to take a, 34-24, lead with 49 seconds remaining on the clock.
Jasmine Shuler knocked down a jumper with 21 seconds left to cut Austin Peay's lead down to, 34-26, at halftime.
Austin Peay opened up the second half with an 8-0 run to increase its lead to 42-26 with only about two minutes ticked off the clock. The Lady Tigers finally got their first points of the half when Destiney Gaston nailed a fifteen-foot jumper.
A few moments later, Tayla Foster scored her first points of the game to cut the deficit down to, 42-30. A lay-up by Alana Morris narrowed the gap down to 11 points but over the next four minutes, APSU outscored TSU, 13-4, to grab its largest lead of the game, 58-38 (9:42).
With 9:28 on the clock, a jumper by Avery Jones sparked a 10-0 run that brought the Lady Tigers to within 10 (58-48).
A free-throw and a three-pointer put Austin Peay back on top, 61-48, with 6:53 remaining but TSU continued to fight.
APSU scored in the paint on its next possession to go up, 69-65, with 47 seconds left. TSU missed a three-pointer on its trip down the floor but Meredith Stafford got a steal when APSU tried to inbound the ball.
Unfortunately, she was called out of bounds and APSU went ahead, 70-65, on the next play. Meredith Stafford made a free-throw to close within four with 26 seconds left but that would be as close as the Lady Tigers would get.
Austin Peay would go on to make four more free-throws to hold the Lady Tigers off.
Tennessee State shot 41.5 percent (27-of-65) and committed 23 turnovers in the game. Austin Peay finished the game with a 39.7 shooting percentage and 17 turnovers.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Thursday when they head to Cookeville to face Tennessee Tech. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. in the Eblen Center.