Cookeville, Tenn. --- Despite shooting nearly 40 percent from the field, the Tennessee State University women's basketball team dropped a hard-fought contest to Tennessee Tech, 80-77, Monday night in the Eblen Center.
Tennessee State (5-9, 1-2 OVC) battled the entire night but could not hold off Tennessee Tech (9-7, 3-0 OVC) down the stretch.
Jasmin Shuler paced the Lady Tiger offense with 17 points while Chelsea Hudson added 11 points and nine rebounds. Simone Hopes finished the game with 10 points and seven boards.
Rachel Allen dished out six assists to go with four rebounds, three rebounds and two steals.
Diamond Henderson led Tech with 24 points while Jala Harris tallied 20.
The score was, 6-5, in favor of TSU early in the first half but the Lady Tiger lead quickly dissipated when Tennessee Tech scored 15 straight points to go up, 20-6.
After going five minutes without scoring, Chelsea Hudson connected in the paint to snap TSU's drought. From there, the Lady Tigers began to chip away at the Golden Eagle lead.
Over the next several possessions, the Lady Tigers turned up their defensive pressure and outscored the Golden Eagles, 14-5, to cut the deficit down to five and force a Tech timeout.
A three-pointer by Jasmin Shuler pulled TSU to within two before the Lady Tigers went into the halftime break trailing, Tech 39-35.
Tennessee State opened up the second frame with a 13-2 run to take a 48-39 lead with less than five minutes ticked off the clock.
Tech answered with a rally of its own and knotted the score at 54-all about five minutes later.
The next four-minute span was a battle that featured two ties and five lead changes. After trading buckets, Tech managed to capture a 71-66 lead following back-to-back three-pointers with four minutes remaining.
TSU pulled to within three but Tech answered with a couple of free-throws increase its cushion back up to five.
With TSU trailing, 76-72, and time winding down the Lady Tigers were forced to foul. TSU's efforts fell short as Tech knocked four free-throws to keep the game out of reach.
TSU held the advantage in rebounds, 42-34, bench points, 31-16, and steals, 10-8. The Lady Tigers also shot 77.8 percent from the free-throw line.
Tennessee State returns to action one week from today on Monday, Jan. 14 at home against Southeast Missouri. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.
-- TSU TIGERS --