LADY TIGERS UNABLE TO KEEP FIRST HALF MOMENTUM;FALL TO SAMFORD, 63-38
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- After a great first half of play that nearly saw Tennessee State (0-11, 0-2 OVC) come away with its first halftime lead of the season, the Lady Tigers were unable to capitalize on that momentum and fell to the visiting Bulldogs of Samford (7-5, 1-1 OVC) on Saturday evening, 63-38. The Lady Tigers nearly had a strangle hold on the Samford offense, holding it to a mere five points by the 12-minute mark of the first stanza. Tennessee State led by as many as eight before a Bulldog rally, which began with a three-point shot by Chelsee Insell at 3:17, narrowed the Lady Tiger lead to five. Back-to-back fouls sent both LaBrena Friend and Morgan Vickery to the charity stripe, putting the Bulldogs up by one point with 27 ticks left on the clock. A buzzer beating shot from behind the three-point arc by Vickery put Samford up by four points going into the locker room, 23-19. Tennessee State shot 33.3 percent before the break, with 13 of its 19 points coming off of Bulldog turnovers. In the second stanza, Samford turned up the heat and never allowed the Lady Tigers to get any closer than 11 points. Vickery and Insell traded treys back and forth, pushing the Bulldogs ahead by 14 points with just over 14 minutes left in regulation. Samford then took advantage of a seven and a half minute Tennessee State drought, scoring 13 points. Two buckets by senior Kisha Stewart (Memphis, Tenn.) from the charity stripe finally got the Lady Tigers back on the board at the 4:53 mark but it was too little too late as Samford rolled to a 63-38 victory. The Bulldogs had two double digit scorers in Vickery and Insell, who both netted a game-high 14 points. Stewart led Tennessee State with 11 points while senior Odessa Kelly (Nashville, Tenn.) recorded another double digit rebound performance with 10 boards. Junior Lakisha Clay (Detroit, Mich.) snatched a career and season-high five steals and contributed nine points. The Lady Tigers return to action on January 15 as they embark on their first Ohio Valley Conference road trip. Tennessee State will be facing the Otahkians of Southeast Missouri State with a 5 p.m. tipoff.