LADY TIGERS DROP OVC OPENER TO SEMO
NASHVILLE---Southeast Missouri's Lachelle Lyles grabbed an OVC record breaking 32 rebounds and posted 13 points in handing Tennessee State a 67-53 loss Thursday night in the Gentry Center. With the loss the Lady Tigers fall to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the OVC, while SEMO improves to 3-3 and 1-0 in the OVC. The game started out extremely slow. A free throw by Jamika Banks knotted the game at 10-10 with 12:13 left in the first half. SEMO would go on an 8-2 run to capture the lead (18-13) but the Lady Tigers would stay within striking distance tying the game at 22 and 26. SEMO however would close out the last two minutes of the first half on a 7-0 run to enter the break leading 32-25. Behind the rebounding of Lachelle Lyles, SEMO continued to build on its lead in the second half. The Lady Tigers would cut the deficit to five points on two occasions but that would be as close as they would get as Southeast would never relinquish the lead in route to the 67-53 victory. The Redhawks were led in scoring by Missy Whitney with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Sonya Daugherty and Lachelle Lyles each chipped in 13 points while Tarina Nixon added 12. Oby Okafor recorded a double-double for TSU with 11 points and 12 rebounds. LaDona Pierce also chipped in 11 points for the Lady Tigers. Tennessee State held the advantage on turnovers, only committing 10 to SEMO's 24 but the Lady Tigers could not find and answer for Lachelle Lyles' rebounding as Tennessee State lost the battle of the boards 69-49. The Lady Tigers return to OVC action this Saturday when they host Eastern Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.