LADY TIGERS LOSE HEARTBREAKER TO JACKSONVILLE STATE
NASHVILLE---The Lady Tiger basketball team lost a hard fought contest to OVC opponent Jacksonville State 69-68 Saturday night in the Gentry Center. The Lady Tigers fall to 1-6 in the conference (3-12) while Jacksonville State improves to 2-6 in the OVC (5-12). With the game tied at 68-68 and four seconds left to play in the game, a foul was called as Jacksonville State's LaTonya McKinney attempted a 3-pointer. She missed the first two, but connected on the third. The clock ran out before the Lady Tigers could get a shot. Oby Okafor led TSU in scoring and picked up her sixth double-double of the season with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Nikki Rumph added 11 points while LaDona Pierce posted eight points and dished out eight assists. Jheri Booker recorded a game-high four blocks in addition to six rebounds. Courtney Slaughter led JSU with 20 points. Ashley Boykin added 17 points and Jolie Efezokhae chipped in 11. The game started with TSU jumping out to a quick 4-0 lead behind two jumpers from Nikki Rumph. A four minute scoring drought, however, would help the Gamecocks even the score (4-4) at the 15:36 mark. With 12:25 left in the first half, JSU went on a 15-6 run to jump ahead 21-11. Jacksonville State would push its lead to 12 points on a lay-up by Ashley Boykin with 6:49 to play in the half. Two consecutive buckets from TSU would cut the deficit to eight (25-15) but a 3-pointer by Ashley Boykin would re-up the Gamecocks' lead to 11 (28-17) at the 4:47 mark. TSU brought the game to within seven once again before JSU reclaimed a nine point lead (30-21) with 3:16 on the clock. Two made free-throws by Oby Okafor sparked a TSU run that would see a determined Lady Tiger squad out score JSU 10-2 in the final three minutes of the first half to enter the break tied 32-32. The second half began with high energy from both teams as the battle went back and forth for the first 10 minutes of the half. Jacksonville State grabbed a seven point lead (54-47) with 9:46 on the clock but TSU responded with a 8-0 run to capture a 55-54 lead (7:58). Neither team led by more than one point over the next four minutes until a jumper by LaDona Pierce gave TSU a slight three point advantage (61-58) with 4:53 left to play. Six straight points by the Gamecocks would help them reclaim the lead (64-61) at the 3:20 mark but TSU would once again knot the game at 64-64 (3:01). Both teams traded buckets down the stretch but a clutch free-throw by LaTonya McKinney helped push the Gamecocks to the win. The Lady Tigers out-rebounded the Gamecocks 46-37 and only committed a season-low 10 turnovers. The Lady Tigers will wrap-up the third game of their home stand with a match-up against local HBCU Fisk University on Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m.