LADY TIGERS AVENGE LOSS, DEFEAT SAVANNAH STATE
NASHVILLE---Four Lady Tigers scored in double figures as the Tennessee State University women's basketball team defeated the Tigers of Savannah State 76-70 Friday night in the Gentry Center. With the win the Lady Tiger's overall record improves to 3-5 while Savannah State falls to 5-7 on the year. Tennessee State grabbed the first lead of the game on a lay-up by Oby Okafor before a two-pointer by Ivy Smith evened the game at 2-2. With the game tied at 4-4 a free-throw by Milan Johnson would give Savannah State a slight advantage (5-4). Neither team scored for the next three minutes until a jumper by Ivy Smith stretched the Savannah State advantage to three (7-4) with 15:21 left in the first half. Both teams would battle back and forth over the next four minutes before TSU went on a 6-0 run to push its lead to 20-13 at the 8:53 mark. A bucket by Savannah State's Shaunte Carter would end the run but the Lady Tigers responded with another 6-0 run to increase the lead to 11 points with 5:59 left on the clock. Savannah State stayed within striking distance cutting the lead down to six and to five points before going into the intermission down by eight (38-30). The second half began with the Savannah State Tigers showing more focus as they cut the deficit down to four in a matter of two minutes (38-34). A lay-up by Nikki Rumph however would spark another TSU run that saw the Lady Tigers re-up the lead 45-34 at the 15:34 mark. A determined Savannah State would not go away as a jumper by Ivy Smith brought the Tigers to within two (49-47) with 11:22 to go in the game. Tennessee State rebuilt the lead to seven on a jumper by Kendra Appling but Savannah State would cut the lead down to three points on two more occasions. With 1:23 on the clock TSU went on a 5-0 run to push the lead to 74-63. Savannah State made a push down the stretch but the Lady Tigers were able to keep the Tigers at bay. Tennessee State shot a respectable 44.4 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Tigers 43-33. Freshman Nikki Rumph paced the Lady Tigers with a career-high 20 points in addition to four steals. Sophomore Kendra Appling chipped in 11 points while freshman Jheri Booker and junior Meesha Jackson each added 10 points for TSU. Meesha Jackson recorded her third double-double of the season with a game-high 11 rebounds. Milan Johnson led the Tigers with 15 points while Antoinette Williams and Ivy Smith each tallied 14 for Savannah State. Kiana Smith recorded 12 points as Shaunte Carter added 10. The Lady Tigers will enjoy the Christmas break before returning to action next Friday (Dec. 29) when they face Mississippi State in the first round of the Atlanta Marriott Holiday Invitational.