Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team dropped a tough, 87-83, loss to Murray State, Thursday night in the Gentry Center.
Senior Kim Haynes played her final game as a Lady Tiger in the Gentry Center.
Erica Burgess led Murray State (12-16, 8-7 OVC) with 27 points while Mariah Robinson and Tessa Elkins each tallied 17.
In the first half, TSU was leading, 11-10, when Murray State used six unanswered points to capture the lead, 16-11. TSU managed to knot the game, 18-18, near the 12-minute mark but the Racers reclaimed the advantage, 27-22, with 8:55 left in the half.
A jumper pulled the Lady Tigers even with the visitors at 32-all before the Racers went back ahead, 41-37 with 3:07 on the clock. Destiney Gaston made one-of-two free throws to pull TSU within one just before the halftime break.
Back-to-back turnovers to open the second stanza led to TSU falling behind, 45-40, with just 54 seconds ticked off the clock.
Destiney Gaston scored in the paint to give TSU its first points of the half before the Lady Tigers fell behind, 47-42. Another, 5-0, spurt by the Racers gave them a double-digit lead.
TSU began to chip away at the deficit and closed to within five after an old fashioned three-point play by Simone Hopes. A few possessions later, Jasmin Shuler drained a long jumper and Simone Hopes scored a lay-up off a steal to cut MSU's lead down to one.
The Lady Tigers briefly took the lead, 60-59, when Jasmin Shuler grabbed the offensive rebound and scored the put back but the Racers answered on their trip down the floor.
The teams traded the lead until MSU went ahead, 70-65. The Lady Tigers, however, responded with five unanswered to tie the game at 70 with 7:03 left to play.
Both teams had played to a 72-72 deadlock when both teams went scoreless for about three minutes.
Murray State ended the skid with a three-pointer before an offensive rebound and lay-up put the visitors up, 77-72.
Alana Morris connected in the paint to pull TSU with three but a triple as the shot clock expired made MSU's lead, 82-76, with 1:44 on the clock.
Jasmin Shuler nailed a long ball to pull TSU within three but a crucial turnover on the Lady Tigers' next trip down the floor allowed MSU to go ahead, 83-79.
With 25.8 seconds remaining, TSU was down, 85-81, when Jasmin Shuler came down the floor and buried a jumper to make the score, 85-83.
After Murray State missed the front end of a one-and-one, TSU had a chance to tie the game but Allen's shot attempt was blocked. MSU knocked down two free-throws with seconds left to seal with win.
The first round of the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference tournament will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 29.