WBB road slump ends with a hard fought win at Tech
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cookeville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team picked up its first road win of the season by defeating Tennessee Tech, 65-62, on the road Saturday night in the Eblen Center.

Oby Okafor led TSU with 22 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Nikki Rumph added 11 points for the Lady Tigers while LaDona Pierce dished out seven assists.

Tech had four players to score in double-digits led by Tacarra Hayes' 17. Kylie Cook posted 14 while Kellie Cook and Krystal Stirrup each registered 10.

Tennessee State improved to 7-11 (4-5 OVC) while Tennessee Tech moved to 8-11 (3-6 OVC).

After a slow offensive start by both teams, Tech opened up a 9-4 lead behind two deep three-pointers.  Over the next three minutes, however, TSU outscored TTU 8-1 to capture a 12-10 lead. Tech answered with another triple to recapture the advantage and from there, both teams traded buckets.

With TSU trailing, 21-18, a three-pointer by Nikki Rumph sparked a 15-5 run that closed out the half and gave the Lady Tigers a 33-26 lead at the break.

TSU extended its lead to 40-27 after LaDona Pierce connected in the paint but TTU netted seven straight points to cut the Lady Tiger advantage down to 40-34 with 15:26 left to play. Over the next three minutes of play, the Golden Eagles used their three-point shooting to come to within one, 45-44, at the 12:11 mark. The Tech scoring run led to a TSU timeout.

Out of the break, a three-point bucket by Jasmin Shuler sparked a 10-3 run that put TSU back on top 55-47. The Golden Eagles, however, answered back and rallied to take the lead, 57-56, with 6:12 remaining. LaDona Pierce drove to the bucket to put TSU back on top before a put-back by Okafor made the score 60-57 in favor of the Lady Tigers.

With TSU holding a slight 64-62 lead, Tech had possession of the ball with less than thirty seconds left in the game.  Tacarra Hayes'  jump shot attempt to tie the game was off the mark and TSU came away with the rebound. After TTU was forced to foul, Meredith Stafford made one of two free-throws to put TSU on top 65-62 with just nine seconds left.  

 Kellie Cook's three-point shot attempt with one second left on the clock rolled off the rim at the buzzer.

Tennessee State shot 43.9 percent from the field, including 50 percent (5-of-10) from beyond the arc. Tennessee Tech shot 40.4 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point range. TSU was out-rebounded 41-33 but held the advantage in assists, 16-13, steals, 10-7, and points in the paint, 28-20.  

The Lady Tigers will return to their home court to host Morehead State on Thursday, Jan.28 in the Gentry Center. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m.