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Murray, Ky. --- In a game that wasn't decided until the final minutes, Tennessee State came away with an impressive, 67-61, road victory over Murray State Monday night in the CFSB Center.

Tennessee State trailed by nearly double-digits in the second half but battled from behind to get back in the game. The Lady Tigers outscored the Racers 7-1 to close out the contest.

With the win TSU improved to 10-12 and 6-5 in the OVC while Murray State fell to 15-8 (7-4 OVC).

Kesi Hess led TSU with 19 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds while Simone Hopes (16) and Jasmin Shuler (12) also registered double-digits.

Erika Sisk had 29 points to lead Murray State followed by Kelsey Dirks' 12. Jessica Winfrey added 11 rebounds.

The teams played to an 11-11 deadlock in the first half before the Lady Tigers used a 7-0 run to go ahead, 18-11. Later TSU went on top, 25-14, behind buckets from Kesi Hess and Simone Hopes with 7:54 on the clock.

The Lady Tigers, however, went without a score for the next seven minutes as the Racers reeled off 13 unanswered points to take a, 27-25, lead going into the halftime break.

The second half was a battle that featured several ties and lead changes through the first ten minutes of play. With the game knotted at 41-all, Murray State scored seven unanswered to take a, 48-41, lead. Rachel Allen knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to cut into the lead but the Racers increased their advantage to 54-46 a few possessions later.

The Lady Tigers, however, continued to fight. With just over five minutes left to play, Kesi Hess buried a three-pointer to spark a 10-2 run that would pull the Lady Tigers even, 56-56, with the Racers.  

With 2:22 left in the game TSU went ahead, 63-61, when Kesi Hess buried her fifth triple of the game. Both teams missed their next shot attempts before a trailing Murray State was forced to foul. With 19.6 on the clock, Hess made two free-throws to make the score, 65-61, in favor of TSU.

Murray State came up empty on its next trip down the floor. Meanwhile, Destiney Gaston connected on a pair of freebies to ice the game.

Tennessee State shot 37.9 percent (25-of-66) from the field including 33.3 percent from three-point range while Murray State went 22-of-62 (35.5 percent) from the field and 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from long range.

TSU outrebounded MSU, 47-38, and held the advantage in bench scoring, 11-4, and points in the paint, 32-30.

The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday, Feb. 16 against Belmont in the Play4Kay Pink-Out game. All fans are encouraged to wear pink. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.

---tsutigers---



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