Nashville --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team began the 2008-09 season with a 75-54 win over Bluefield College on Tuesday night in the Gentry Center.
In Tennessee State's only exhibition game of the season, the Tigers shot 44.3 percent (27-of-61) from the field but struggled from beyond the arc only connecting on 3-of-16 attempts (18.8 percent). TSU totaled 13 steals and forced BC into 27 turnovers but also committed 23 turnovers.
Kendra Appling led all scores with 20 points while Tiffany Jackson added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jasmine Ellis posted a game-high 12 boards in addition to six points and two blocks while LaDona Pierce handed out a game-best five assists. Chelsea Cromartie turned in an eight point, eight rebound performance and also recorded three steals. Nikki Rumph also added eight points off the bench for the Tigers.
Holding a slight 22-18 lead in the first half, a break-away lay-up from Kendra Appling sparked a 15-0 run that saw Tennessee State capture a 37-18 lead before going into the break with a 37-21 advantage.
Bluefield College would not go away and began to chip away at the lead in the second half. The Rams cut the deficit down to ten points (46-36) at the 15:16 mark and again (54-44) with 10:41 left on the clock. The Tigers answered by outscoring the Rams 6-1 over the next two minutes to build the lead back up to 60-45. TSU maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.
Tennessee State will officially kick-off the regular season with a match-up against Jackson State on Friday, Nov.14. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.