Chicago, Ill. --- Senior Oby Okafor recorded her first double-double of the season but it wasn't enough as Tennessee State fell to Cornell , 92-73, in the consolation game of the Maggie Dixon Classic Saturday night at McGrath Arena.
Tennessee State (0-3) improved its overall shooting percentage (40.6) from a day ago connecting on 28-of-69. However, the Lady Tigers still struggled from the free-throw line, only shooting 51.7 percent (15-of-29). TSU shot a dismal 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from three-point range.
Cornell (2-2) shot a scorching 62.0 percent from the field (31-of-50) and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc (10-of-20). The Big Red hit 20-of-29 free-throws.
Oby Okafor, the only Lady Tiger to score in double-figures, led TSU with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
In the first half, a three-pointer by Kesi Hess was the beginning of a run that got TSU out to a 7-2 lead. The Big Red, however, used a run of their own to capture the advantage, 11-9, with five minutes ticked off the clock.
Holding a slight 14-13 lead, Cornell outscored TSU 18-2 to go ahead 32-15. TSU connected on three straight buckets to cut into the lead and force a Cornell timeout. What followed was a Big Red run that included a barrage of three pointers to swell the lead to 52-25.
The Lady Tigers closed out the half by outscoring the Big Red 13-2 and narrowed the deficit down to 54-38.
Early in the second half TSU took advantage of a few Cornell turnovers and used timely buckets to cut the deficit down to 12. After Cornell built its advantage back up to 19, TSU chopped it down to 13, once at the 11:17 mark and again with 10:26 left to play.
The Lady Tigers, however, could not get over the hump and saw the Big Red lead grow to 86-58 with a little over five minutes remaining.
TSU used a 9-2 run in the last two minutes of play to come within 19 and make the final score 92-73.
Tennessee State held the advantage in steals 13-4. Cornell committed 22 turnovers to TSU's 18 but held the advantage in assists, 23-13, and blocks, 4-0. The rebounds were even.
The Lady Tigers will return Nashville for the first home game of the season on Wednesday when they face the Bulldogs of Cumberland. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.