Nashville, Tenn. --- In a fiercely contested battle that wasn't decided until the final minute, the Tennessee State University women's basketball team held-off a feisty Jacksonville State team and came away with a, 61-59, win Saturday night in the Gentry Center.
With the victory, Tennessee State (9-18, 5-10 OVC) snapped a five-game skid while Jacksonville State (4-23, 1-13 OVC) dropped its eighth straight.
JSU had two players to register double-doubles as Brianna Morrow tallied 19 points with 10 rebounds followed by Danielle Vaughn's 10 points and 12 boards.
The score was tied when Jacksonville State used six unanswered points to take a 12-6 lead. TSU used a timeout to slow the visitors down and cut the deficit down to two behind buckets from Chelsea Hudson and Donyeah Mayfield out of the break.
After falling behind by four points, TSU fought back to knot the score at 16-all.
The score remained close over the next several possessions. Chelsea Hudson found Donyeah Mayfield under the basket to give the Lady Tigers a, 25-21, lead but the Gamecocks answered right back to close within two.
TSU went into the halftime break leading JSU, 26-23.
In the second frame, JSU used two quick buckets to erase the deficit and capture a, 27-26, lead over TSU. The Lady Tigers regained the advantage when Jasmin Shuler knocked down a triple from the corner for TSU's first points of the half.
The teams traded buckets, until TSU created a little distance behind a small spurt that put the Lady Tigers on top, 37-32. The Gamecocks, however, would not go away and captured the lead following, a 6-0 run of their own.
With 11:16 left in the game, the score was at a, 39-39, deadlock. The Gamecocks hit a free-throw before Destiny Lane nailed a short jumper to put JSU up by three.
The Lady Tigers trailed until back-to-back lay-ups from Alana Morris made the score, 45-44, in favor of the home team. The Gamecocks answered on their trip down the floor and moved ahead, 46-45, with about eight minutes left to play.
The rest of the game was a see-saw battle full of high intensity from both teams.
After playing to another tie, 48-48, with about five minutes left, the score wavered back-and-forth over the next three minutes.
With 2:40 on the clock, Alana Morris connected with Chelsea Hudson to give TSU a slight, 57-55, advantage. TSU moved ahead, 58-55, when Rachel Allen made the first of two free-throw attempts but JSU pulled within one on a drive by Candace Morton.
On TSU's next trip down the floor, Rachel Allen scored to make TSU's lead, 60-57, with 36.1 seconds left in the game. The ensuing possession saw JSU miss its shot attempt and Chelsea Hudson came away with the rebound.
The Gamecocks were forced to foul Hudson and she knocked down one-of-two freebies to give TSU a, 61-57, lead. Following another JSU missed shot, Hudson was fouled again and missed the front end of a one-and-one. Jacksonville State's final shot made the score, 61-59, but it came with only two seconds remaining.
TSU inbounded the ball and the time expired.
Neither team shot particularly well as Tennessee State went 22-of-60 from the field (36.7 percent) and 3-of-19 (15.8 percent) from three-point range. TSU only made 14-of-24 (58.3 percent) from the free-throw line.
Jacksonville State shot 37.7 percent (23-of-61) from the field, including a dismal 10.0 percent (1-10) from long range. JSU went 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Lady Tigers will conclude the regular season with a home contest against Murray State on Thursday, Feb. 23. Game time is slated for a 4 p.m. start in the Gentry Center.
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