Chicago, Ill. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team fell to San Diego, 79-45, in the first game of the Maggie Dixon Classic Friday night at McGrath Arena.
With the loss, Tennessee State falls to 0-2 on the season while San Diego improves to 2-1. The Lady Tigers, led by Ashley Tate (9) and Kesi Hess (9), did not have any players score in double digits.
TSU got on the board first but San Diego followed with eight unanswered points to take an 8-2 lead. This led to a timeout. Out of the break, a free-throw by Oby Okafor sparked an 8-2 run to even the score 10-10.
TSU briefly took the lead, 12-10, on a drive by Ashley Tate but USD tied the game and reclaimed the lead moments later. The Toreros began to pull away with a little under eight minutes left in the half. Back-to-back three pointers increased the USD advantage to 32-23 before the Toreros used an 8-2 run to close out the half and carry a 42-25 lead into the locker room.
Tennessee State struggled from the field as well as the free-throw line in the first half, shooting 25.9 percent (7-of-27) from the floor and 50.0 percent from the charity stripe (9-of-18). Adversely, San Diego connected on 13-of-25 from the field (52.0 percent) and 13-of-16 (81.3 percent) from the line.
Despite TSU's efforts, the Toreros outscored the Lady Tigers 12-5 in the first eight minutes of the second to swell the lead to 54-30. USD maintained a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the half. The Lady Tigers used a small run that cut the deficit down to 21 with close to four minutes left but that would be as close as they would get.
TSU finished the game with a 24.1 shooting percentage (14-of-58) and 21 turnovers. The Lady Tigers shot 41.9 percent (13-of-31) from the free throw line and 40.0 percent (4-of-10) from beyond the arc.
TSU will return to action tomorrow to play in the consolation game against Cornell.