Friday, January 30, 2004
The Tennessee State Lady Basketball team is looking to close out its five-game homestand with a win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday night at the Gentry Center. Tip time is set for 5 p.m.
Last Time Out: Tennessee State vs. Austin Peay
The Tennessee State women's team proved to be a competitive force, but Ohio Valley Conference co-leader Austin Peay was able to hand the TSU team a 74-58 defeat Thursday night. The Lady Tigers overcame as much as a 17-point deficit to cut the Lady Govs lead to single digits in second half at 61-52 with 5:16 remaining. However, APSU went on a 10-3 run over the next three minutes to hold back any hopes of a TSU comeback victory. The loss spoiled an outstanding night for Lady Tiger senior guard Kisha Stewart. Stewart led TSU with 26 points. TSU junior college transfer Kendra Bailey added 10 points. Austin Peay was led by Gerlonda Hardin's double double of 28 points and 11 rebounds. Kerea Bergeron added 14 points.
Welcome to a New Era in TSU Basketball
This season marks the first for the revamped Lady Tiger basketball team under Head Coach Sharon Allen. Allen enters into her fifth year of head coaching overall and her first at Tennessee State in 2003. Allen comes to the Tennessee State program after spending the last five seasons with Mississippi State. While with the Bulldogs, she served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. While serving as an assistant, Allen saw players honored as Kodak All-Americans, one SEC Player of the Year, one SEC Freshman of the Year, one Associated Press Freshman of the Year, three SEC First-Team selections and two players tabbed Associated Press All- SEC First-Team. During the 1999-2000 season, the Lady Bulldogs had their first 20-win season in program history and defeated the then-No. 2 ranked team in the country, Louisiana Tech. That same season, Mississippi State was the runner-up in the SEC Tournament. In postseason action, Mississippi State advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2002 after advancing to the third round of the WNIT the previous season. She also helped the Lady Bulldogs to their best overall record in school history, 24-8.
Scouting the Golden Eaglettes
Tennessee Tech is led in scoring by Emily Christianson, who is averaging 22.1 points per game. She is also the team's leader in rebounds, pulling down 6.1 per contest. Tennessee Tech is the Ohio Valley Conference leader in three-point percentage, draining 37.7 percent (106-281) of shots behind the arc. TTU also has the second-best rebounding defense in the league (36.2 per game) and is tops in assist to turnover ratio (1.04).
Last Time Against Tennessee Tech
The Golden Eaglettes bested Tennessee State, 81-58, in their final meeting of the 2002-03 campaign. Odessa Kelly contributed in the double digits for the 11th time last season, dropping in 18 that night. Kisha Stewart added 14 points while Aquanya McClain grabbed eight rebounds and three steals. Earlier in the season, Tennessee Tech won a 30- point decision over the Lady Tigers, 90-60. Kelly, Quanecia Fletcher and Amy Holmes all netted nine points in the contest.
Top 10
Several Lady Tigers are ranked in the top 10 of statistical categories in the Ohio Valley Conference. Senior Odessa Kelly makes the most appearances of any Lady Tiger. She is currently No. 8 in rebounding, grabbing an average of 6.8 boards per game. She is also sixth in blocked shots with a total of 17 swats and second in offensive rebounds, averaging 3.25 per game. Junior Lakisha Clay makes appearances on two lists -- No. 8 in assists (3.12 apg) and first in steals (2.50 spg).
(Don't) Stop Thief!
Junior Lakisha Clay continues to hold the top spot in steals in the Ohio Valley Conference with a total of 44. In all contests, she is averaging 2.58 per game while in conference games, she has a total of 18, averaging 3.00 per game.
Doubling Up
Senior Odessa Kelly recently picked up her second double double of the season against Murray State (1/24). Over her career at Tennessee State, the forward has racked up a total of seven.
Shining Starr
The Lady Tigers' lone true freshman, LaRaea Starr, picked up her third career start against Fisk (1/19). In the contest, she played a career-high 18 minutes on the hardwood. She also netted a career-high 10 points, after going 4-of-6 from the charity stripe. The Minneapolis native also notched a career-high four steals and tied her career-high of four rebounds against the Bulldogs.
Big Blue Rebounding Machine
As a team, the Lady Tigers are holding down the top spot in the Ohio Valley Conference in offensive rebounds. Tennessee State averages 15.31 per game. TSU is fourth overall in rebounding defense, grabbing 38.5 per game.
Home Sweet Home
Playing at home has served as an advantage for the Lady Tigers. Since opening its five-game homestand on January 19 against Fisk, Tennessee State has not recorded fewer than 55 points. Before the stretch at the Gentry Center, the Lady Tigers had only topped the 50-point plateau three times.
First Time's The Charm
Junior Lakisha Clay is the first Lady Tiger to have earned an Ohio Valley Conference in-season award, after being tabbed Newcomer of the Week. The nod recognizes the outstanding performances Clay had over three games last week (Fisk, Tennessee-Martin and Murray State). The guard averaged 11.3 points and three rebounds over last week's contests. Clay helped Tennessee State pick up its first victory of the season by defeating Fisk (1/19), contributing a career-high 15 points. She shot 83.3 percent from the field and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Against UTM (1/22), she netted 13 points and pulled down three rebounds while in the Murray State (1/24) matchup, she dropped in six points and four rebounds.
'O' My Goodness!
Nashville native senior Odessa Kelly crossed the 500 point threshold with her season-high 27-point performance against Jacksonville State on January 8th. She also recently topped the 300 plateau in rebounds against Alabama A&M (12/18), after grabbing six in that game. She now has a career total of 384 as of January 29th.
Inching Closer to Career Marks
Senior Zekeya Anderson has nearly 100 assists over her career at Tennessee State. After the Austin Peay contest (1/29), the St. Louis native moved to within four of crossing the century mark. KaSheena Powe is closing in on 200 boards by the end of this season. The junior guard currently has 153 rebounds under her belt, including this season.
Captains, My Captains
Two players have been selected co-captain by their teammates and coaches for the 2003-04 campaign -- junior KaSheena Powe and senior Kisha Stewart.
Around the Ohio Valley Conference
Southeast Missouri State was picked to take the 2003-04 crown by Ohio Valley Conference women's head basketball coaches and sports information directors. The Otahkians edged out last year's champion, Austin Peay, by just six points in the voting. Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee Tech and Morehead State rounded out the top five selections. Picking up honors for performances last week were Shanika Freeman of Jacksonville State for Player of the Week, Andreika Jackson of Tennessee-Martin for Rookie of the Week and Tennessee State's own Lakisha Clay for Newcomer of the Week.
Up Next for the Lady Tigers
Tennessee State wraps up its five-game homestand by hosting Tennessee Tech tonight. The Lady Tigers will then hit the road for two games, first battling Morehead State on February 7 and then taking on Eastern Kentucky on February 9.