NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team imposed its defensive will against Belmont Saturday night as the Lady Tigers defeated the Bruins, 64-51, in the Gentry Center.
Tennessee State (6-12, 3-2 OVC) held Belmont (7-13, 4-3 OVC) to 16 first-half points and led by as many as 25 points in the win.
Rachel Allen led all TSU scorers with 13 points while Alana Morris added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Brianna Lawrence chipped in 11 points for the Lady Tigers. Although Chelsea Hudson was held to eight points she pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds in the contest.
Jordyn Luffman led Belmont and recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 boards. Frankie Joubran also posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Tennessee State shot 34.3 percent from the field in the game, including 40 percent from long range. TSU only connected on 56 percent of its free-throw attempts but held the advantage in rebounds, 51-48.
Defense was the theme of the first half as the score was tied, 6-6, at the first media timeout. Over the next seven minutes, TSU held BU scoreless as the Bruins went 0-6 from the field.
In the meantime, the Lady Tigers posted 10 straight points to go ahead, 16-6. At the 7:35 mark Belmont finally was able to score on a couple free-throws. The Lady Tigers, however, responded with a 7-4 run to increase the advantage to, 23-12.
TSU went into the halftime break leading, 26-16, after holding BU to a .259 shooting percentage (7-of-27) and forcing the opponent into nine turnovers. The 16 points was the lowest TSU has held an opponent to in the first half.
An old fashioned three-point play from Rachel Allen got TSU on the board in the second half. Following a free-throw from Chelsea Hudson, Alana Morris scored to put TSU on top, 37-21, with 16:12 on the clock.
With about 13 minutes left to play, The Lady Tigers stretched their advantage to, 47-22, after Brianna Lawrence buried back-to-back three-pointers.
TSU was leading, 50-26, when Belmont posted six straight points to make the score, 50-32, in favor of the home team.
With 5:49 remaining in the game, Alana Morris found Chelsea Hudson in the paint to make the score, 56-36.
Although Belmont went on a 12-3 run and outscored TSU, 22-10, over a span of 10 minutes, the Lady Tigers maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the game.
Belmont shot 30.4 percent from the field but only managed to make 1-of-18 from beyond the arc. BU went 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Tennessee State will have a short break before returning to action on the road at Jacksonville State. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Pete Mathews Coliseum.
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