Foul trouble and late turnovers hurt WBB in loss to A&M
Monday, December 14, 2009

Nashville --- TSU's two leading scorers were held to a combined 15 points as the Lady Tigers dropped a 76-67 decision to the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M Sunday evening in the Gentry Center.

Because of early foul trouble, senior Obiageli Okafor spent much of the game on the bench. She finished the game with nine points. For the same reason, Jasmine Smith sat most of the game and finished the game with only six points.

Meredith Stafford led TSU with 12 points while LaDona Pierce added 11. Chelsea Cromartie pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for the Lady Tigers.

Whiquitta Tobar led the Bulldogs with 20 points and Katrich Williams added 14.

With less than four minutes ticked off the clock, Alabama A&M was forced to burn its first timeout after Tennessee State jumped out to a 10-2 lead.

Out of the break, A&M answered with six straight points to come within two (10-8) but TSU extended its advantage back up to 16-8 with a 6-0 run. The Bulldogs cut the deficit down to one (24-23) before taking a 36-35 following a three-pointer from the corner.

TSU climbed back on top 37-36, just before the half ended.

TSU got off to a sluggish start in the second half. With the game tied 43-43, A&M outscored TSU 14-4 to capture a 57-48 lead.

The Lady Tigers battled back when a 3-pointer by Jasmine Smith sparked an 11-2 run that tied the game 59-59. From there, both teams traded buckets and the score stayed close.

With TSU trailing 66-65, A&M scored the next five points to go ahead 71-65 with 1:34 left in the game. Two free-throws by Oby Okafor made the score 71-67 but that would be as close as TSU would get.

Tennessee State shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc. Alabama A&M recorded a 47.7 shooting percentage from the field while only connecting on 14.3 percent of its three point shots.

TSU held the advantage in rebounds, 34-33, assists, 12-10 and steals, 9-4 but A&M shot 80.5 percent from the charity stripe compared to TSU's 64.9 percent.

The Lady Tigers return to action next Sunday when they make the short trip to Vanderbilt to face the Commodores. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Memorial Gymnasium.