Lady Tigers Falter in OVC Opener
Friday, December 4, 2009

Nashville --- Tennessee State committed a season-low 12 turnovers but shot its second worse percentage from the field in a 70-57 OVC loss to Eastern Illinois on Thursday night in the Gentry Center.

Tennessee State fell to 2-4 (0-1 OVC) while Eastern Illinois improved to 4-3 (1-0 OVC).

Jasmine Smith led TSU in scoring with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds while Obiageli Okafor recorded 11 points and eight boards.

EIU had four players to score in double figures led by Ta'Kenya Nixon (17). Dominique Sims posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Ashley Thomas and Sydney Mitchell also tallied 10 points each. 

EIU scored the first five points of the game before a jumper by Jasmine Smith finally got TSU on the board with six minutes ticked off the clock. The Panthers captured the momentum early and used a three-point bomb to extend its lead to 10-2 at the 11:30 mark. This lead to a TSU timeout.

Out of the break, a triple by Kesi Hess cut the deficit down to 10-5 but EIU answered with a 17-7 run to swell the advantage to 27-12. The Lady Tigers outscored the Panthers 10-5 in the last four minutes of the half to go into the locker room trailing 32-22.

In the second half, TSU cut the deficit down to single digits before the first media timeout but EIU extended the advantage back up to double-digits moments later. The Lady Tigers battled to within eight points at the 9:47 mark and again at the 8:17 mark.

EIU, however, scored nine unanswered points to pull away 59-42 with 5:29 left to play. The Lady Tigers trailed by as many as 20 before an 11-4 run to close out the half made the final score 70-57.

Tennessee State was 19-of-68 from the field for a 27 percent shooting percentage while Eastern Illinois shot 46 percent (29-of-63). TSU was outrebounded 50-41 and only connected on 18 percent of its three point shots (4-of-22). EIU was 3-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Tennessee State returns to action on Saturday with continued OVC action against Southeast Missouri. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.