LADY TIGERS MAKE SECOND TRIP TOALABAMA WITHIN A WEEK AS OVC PLAY OPENS
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State women's basketball team will journey to Alabama for the second time within a week as Ohio Valley Conference play opens for the Lady Tigers with games at Jacksonville State and Samford. The Lady Tigers participated in UAB's Blazer Invitational Dec.29-30. TSU will play Jacksonville State at 5 p.m. Thursday to tip off the OVC slate before making the return visit to play Samford on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Lady Tigers finished their non-conference slate with a 3-8 record. TSU is coming off another tough defeat. The second half has not been kind to the TSU women in recent outings. Monday's game against UNCA Asheville in the Gentry Center was the latest example. TSU held a 34-28 halftime lead against UNCA, but scored 19 second half points in absorbing the 64-53 setback. The Lady Tigers scored a lone field goal in the final 5:52 of the contest as Samford broke away with an 11-2 run to secure the win. TSU already has tripled its win total of last season under interim coach Tracee Jones. TSU was 1-25 last season. Senior Kendra Bailey is second in the OVC in field goal percentage shooting, making .544 of her shots. However, TSU as a team is shooting .355 to rank 11th in the department. Bailey is fourth in rebounding at 7.5 boards a game. The Lady Tigers defense has kept the team within striking distance in most of the games. TSU allows 64.4 points a game and leads the league in steals with an average of 12.27 a game. Jacksonville State and Samford played the first OVC game of the season on Tuesday in Jacksonville. The host Gamecocks scored the game's final six points en route to 66-59 victory. TSU will play the two games in Alabama before returning home for the OVC home openers on Jan. 13 against Southeast Missouri and Jan. 15 against Eastern Illinois. Both games will start at 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.