LADY TIGERS UPEND JAX STATE IN OVC OPENER
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. --- The Tennessee State women's basketball team wasted no time in getting into the win column this season in Ohio Valley Conference as the Lady Tigers opened league play with a 77-74 victory at Jacksonville State Thursday night. TSU, which was winless in OVC play last season, rode a strong first half and came up with big plays down the stretch to capture the victory and give interim head coach Tracee Jones a victory in her conference coaching debut. The win came over a Jax State team which had defeated Southeastern Conference opponent Auburn on Sunday. "I could not be more proud of my team right now," said Jones. "We have been working on staying focused and executing at the end of the game. We told them it would come down to the little things. At conference time, you look for people to step up and tonight we had people meet this challenge." The Lady Tigers made an 11-0 run in the first half to build a 23-12 lead at the 8:23 mark of the opening half. TSU would lead by as many 17 points before carrying a 40-27 lead into halftime. Jax State made its expected run in the second half and came back to lead 58-57 with 9:04 remaining. TSU took the lead for good on LaToya Clay's free throw at 73-72 with 1:31 left. Kendra Bailey followed with a field goal with 32 seconds left and Quanecia Fletcher hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left. LaKisha Clay and Leslie Dean each scored 23 points to lead TSU (4-8, 1-0). LaToya Clay added 10. TSU was 27-55 from the field and had a much-improved night at the free throw line, making 17-22. JSU (4-6, 1-1) was led by Rebecca Haynes 25 points. TSU will play at Samford Saturday afternoon.