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).
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.