BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - The best shooting game of the season wasn't enough as Tennessee State women's basketball lost to Alabama-Birmingham 68-60 at the Samford Thanksgiving Classic Friday afternoon.
Jasmin Shuler led TSU with 20 points and three steals, while Kesi Hess went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc for 12 points.
The Blazers (5-1) started the game on an 8-0 run in the first two minutes, including a pair of steals off of full court pressure.
TSU (1-3) never led in the game, but kept UAB in check for much of the rest of the half by never letting the Blazers get a double-digit advantage and even cutting the lead down to one possession on two occasions.
A Shuler layup off of a steal pulled TSU to within three with just under three minutes remaining in the half, but UAB finished the half with a 6-0 spirt in the final minute to take a 32-23 edge heading into the locker room. UAB also scored the first four points of the second half turning a three point lead into 13 in just three minutes of game action.
Destiney Gaston provided a spark off of the bench in the first half as all eight of her points and four of her five boards came in the first 20 minutes.
UAB was a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line in the first half, while the Lady Tigers didn't reach the charity stripe once.
A 23-6 Blazers run between the two halves gave them their largest lead of the contest at 49-29 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The second half of the second half saw the TSU offense come alive as they hit four treys, including three from Hess in the final 5:16, cutting the UAB lead down to seven with 1:03 left.
TSU shot a season best 46 percent from the field and 6-of-10 from three. The Lady Tigers were 5-of-6 from three in the second half.
Forwards Avery Jones and Simone Hopes were in foul trouble for much of the second half as neither played more than 23 minutes. The seniors combined for 14 points and nine rebounds.
Karisma Chapman of UAB led all scorers with 21 points, 3-of-6 from the field and 15-of-15 on free throws.
The Blazers were 29-of-31 on free throws compared to 8-of-13 for TSU.
The Lady Tigers return to the court Saturday at 3 p.m. when they take on the host of the Classic, Samford. You can listen live to the game here.