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Gainesville, Fla. --- In the opening round of the Gator Holiday Classic, the Tennessee State University women’s basketball team fell to host Florida, 86-56, in the O’Connell Center Friday night.

Briana Morrow led Tennessee State (3-9) with 12 points while Jayda Johnson and I’mani Davis each tallied nine points. Rachel Allen dished out eight assists in the contest.

Florida (8-3) had four players in double-digits led by Kayla Lewis (19). Christin Mercer (19), Cassie Peoples (16) and Carlie Needles (10) also registered double figures.

TSU was forced to burn a timeout early after Florida jumped out to a 9-0 lead at the 18:38 mark. After falling behind, 15-2, the Lady Tigers outscored the Gators, 9-5, to cut the deficit down to nine points.

Later in the half, TSU used another rally to pull within seven following back-to-back buckets from Jayda Johnson and Chelsea Hudson.

The Gators, however, closed out the frame by outscoring TSU, 19-11, to build their halftime advantage to, 43-29.

In the second half, TSU made several attempts to get back into the game but the deficit proved too much to overcome.

Tennessee State shot 34.8 percent (23-of-66) from the field including 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from the three-point line. TSU was only outrebounded by seven but the opponents shot 50 percent  from the field while forcing the Lady Tigers into 24 turnovers.

U of F also held the advantage in points in the paint (44-24) and fast break points (12-2).

TSU will face LaSalle tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.


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