LADY TIGERS UPENDED BY MOREHEAD STATE, 55-40
MOREHEAD, Ky. --- Spotting shooting plagued both teams in the first half but the Lady Eagles of Morehead State (9-12, 6-4 OVC) rallied in the second stanza to pull out a 55-40 win over the Lady Tigers (1-18, 0-9) in Morehead on Saturday night. The only contest this season between these two Ohio Valley Conference rivals started off very slowly. Neither squad could find a rhythm and the first half alone saw seven jump balls called. Tennessee State managed to pull ahead, 6-2, behind back-to-back three-pointers by senior Kisha Stewart (Memphis, Tenn.). The first of six opening stanza ties occurred at the 15:13 mark, the longest of which was a 10-10 tie up that lasted nearly three and a half minutes. The Lady Tigers' brief lead from a layup by junior Kendra Bailey (Cleveland, Ohio) only lasted for one minute before the game was tied again, this time at 12 all at 4:41. The snail's pace race toward halftime continued and both teams headed into the locker room with the contest knotted at 16. The Lady Eagles shot just over 17 percent from the floor but was bested by Tennessee State's 19.4 percent first half effort. The squads returned from the break seemingly energized with MSU the first to put points on the board behind a layup by TaNeisha Johnson at 19:13. Stewart answered with her third bucket from behind the arc, making the score 19-18 in favor of the Lady Tigers. Morehead's Kandi Brown fired back with a trey of her own, bringing the tally to 21-19. The teams continued to trade baskets until Brown netted another trey at the 12:03 mark, moving the Lady Eagles ahead by seven, 31-24. The Lady Tigers would narrow the score to as few as four before Morehead State surged to a 16-point lead at 3:35. Sophomore Denina Lockridge (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) was sent to the charity stripe twice in less than one minute, making three of four attempts and chipping MSU's lead down to 13 but that would be as close as Tennessee State would get as the Lady Eagles held on to win, 55-40. Morehead State was led in scoring by Megen Gearhart with 16 points. Kandi Brown and Patti White chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Shelly Johnson recorded seven blocks on the night, tying a school record. Dropping in four treys contributed to Stewart being Tennessee State's leading scorer. She finished the night with 16 points. Also scoring in double digits was Lockridge with 10. The Lady Tigers return to action on Monday as they travel to Richmond, Ky. to take on Eastern Kentucky. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.