LADY TIGERS DOWN AUSTIN PEAY 84-71
NASHVILLE---Sophomores Oby Okafor and Kendra Appling each scored career-highs as the Tennessee State University women's basketball team defeated Austin Peay 84-71 Saturday night in the Gentry Center. In doing so, the Lady Tigers extend their home winning streak to three. The night came with two high points for head coach Tracee Jones. After the Lady Tigers claimed the victory over Austin Peay, Charles, "Bubba" Wells, assistant men's coach at Austin Peay, proposed and she accepted. Tennessee State (6-16, 3-11 OVC) posted its highest point total of the season and shot 54.5 percent from the field. With the loss Austin Peay falls to 8-15 overall and 7-7 in the conference. Oby Okafor led Tennessee State in scoring with a career-high 32 points in addition to four steals. Kendra Appling also recorded a career-high with 23 points and five assists. Tiffany Jackson came off the bench to score 12 points for TSU while Jheri Booker grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Amber Bacon led the way for Austin Peay with 21 points while Alicia Watson recorded a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. A highly energized Lady Tiger squad jumped out to an early 11-2 lead over the Lady Govs and forced an Austin Peay timeout with 16:03 on the clock. Following the timeout, however, TSU didn't let up as the Lady Tigers stretched the lead to 21-8 at the 10:22 mark. With 9:39 left to play in the first half, a 3-pointer by Austin Peay's Breana Link sparked a 6-0 run that cut the Tennessee State lead to seven (21-14). Two made free-throws by Oby Okafor and a free-throw from Tiffany Jackson put TSU back on top by ten (24-14). Over the next two and a half minutes Austin Peay managed to get within eight and nine points before TSU rattled off nine unanswered points to capture a 39-22 lead with 2:31 to go in the half. Tennessee State entered the intermission with a 44-28 lead. Austin Peay scored two quick buckets in the opening moments of the second half to cut the deficit to 12 points (44-32) with 19:14 on the clock. The Lady Tigers responded with an 11-0 run to surge ahead 55-32 with 15:31 remaining in the game. A three point basket by Amber Bacon ended the TSU run and sparked a 9-0 Austin Peay run to bring the score to 55-41 at the 12:16 mark. The Lady Tigers once again extended the lead to 23 (71-48) on a free-throw from Jheri Booker and didn't relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game. Oby Okafor is the first Lady Tiger to score 30 points in a game since the 2002-03 season. The Lady Tigers will host UT-Martin on Thursday, February 8, in the Gentry Center. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.