Jacksonville, Ala. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team shot a season-high 53.4 percent from the field and posted a season-high in points to defeat Jacksonville State, 88-68, Saturday afternoon in Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The 88 points is the most points scored since posting 90 against UT Martin last season.
Tennessee State (5-8, 1-1 OVC) had four players score in double-digits led by Kesi Hess' 22 points. The Dublin, Ohio native knocked down six three-pointers in the contest.
Destiney Gaston came off the bench to score 18 points while Jasmin Shuler finished the game with 16 points and three steals. Chelsea Hudson nearly recorded a double-double with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Jacksonville State (0-15, 0-3 OVC) was led in scoring by Marikate Gardler with 22 points while Briana Morrow added 14.
Both teams jumped out the gates on fire as each team was shooting at least 50 percent from the floor through the first five minutes. The teams battled and traded buckets over the next several possessions.
TSU managed to build its lead up to six on a couple of occasions but JSU continued to strike back.
Later in the half, Tennessee State was leading, 28-27, when a bucket by Chelsea Hudson sparked a 13-0 run that put the Lady Tigers on top, 41-27, with 3:42 remaining in the frame. The rally, fueled by TSU's defensive intensity, included five steals by the Lady Tigers.
The Gamecocks answered with a 6-0 spurt to cut the deficit down to eight but seven straight points by the Lady Tigers, including Kesi Hess' three-pointer at the buzzer made the score, 48-33, at the break.
TSU shot 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from the field in the first half, including 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from long range.
In the second half, TSU continued to build on the lead and stretched the advantage to 57-37 following a short jumper by Hess with 16:42 on the clock.
JSU cut into the lead after outscoring TSU, 7-2, but the Lady Tigers answered with a rally that made the score, 66-47, at the 11:44 mark.
The Lady Tigers maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Tennessee State finished the game shooting 53.4 percent from the field, including 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Lady Tigers also had 15 steals and outrebounded the Gamecocks, 39-35. The TSU bench outscored the JSU bench, 40-28.
Next, the Lady Tigers will travel to Cookeville to face Tennessee Tech on Monday, Jan. 7. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. in the Eblen Center.
-- TSU TIGERS --