BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - The Tennessee State women's basketball team played its most complete game of the season as they took down Samford 57-40 at the Samford Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday. It's the largest road win since at least 2001.
Kesi Hess led all scorers with 15 points, while Simone Hopes tied a career-high with 12 rebounds. The senior from Houston had a dozen boards vs. Eastern Kentucky in December 2010.
The 40 points allowed are the fewest by TSU since giving up 35 to Southeast Missouri State on Feb. 24, 2011, a span of 36 games.
Even though neither team had more than a five point lead in the first half, TSU (2-3) controlled most of the first 20 minutes by forcing 10 Samford turnovers, including seven steals.
TSU held a 25-23 advantage at the half and limited the Bulldogs (2-2) to only eight made field goals.
A 14-2 TSU run over the last 6:17 turned a five point Lady Tigers lead into the final 17 point margin. Samford's last field goal came with five minutes remaining. The Tiger defense was even better in the second half holding the Bulldogs to 17 points, 26 percent shooting, as well as outrebounding Samford by 14.
Tanesha Stenson joined Hess in double-digits as the Nashville native added 11 points, one off her career-high that she set on Tuesday vs. Kansas State, along with seven rebounds.
Destiney Gaston had back-to-back solid games off the bench with nine points after having eight points and five rebounds vs. UAB on Friday.
The Lady Tigers held the Bulldogs to a season low in points and it was only the second win for TSU in 11 all-time meetings.
Samford won the Southern Conference Tournament and had a 10-2 record at home last season.
TSU heads out west next week to play Idaho on Friday and Montana on Saturday in Missoula, Mont.