Murray, Ky. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team dropped a 77-69 decision to Murray State Thursday night in the Regional Special Events Center.
The Lady Tigers fall to 5-7 in the OVC while the Racers move to 5-6 in the league race.
Oby Okafor led TSU with 18 points and recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds. Jasmin Shuler (14) and Meredith Stafford (11) also posted double-digits for TSU while LaDona Pierce pulled down a career and game best 13 rebounds.
Murray State had a balanced offensive attack led by Kayla Vance's 20 points. Mallory Luckett notched 15 while Tessa Elkins added 10. Kayla Lowe and Jessica Holder each recorded nine points.
The game was high energy from the start with both teams trading buckets and the lead. TSU created a little distance, 24-20, following free-throws by Oby Okafor but MSU tied the game two minutes later. With the score knotted, 34-34, Murray State's Kayla Lowe nailed a three-pointer at the end of the half to give the Racers a 37-34 lead at the break.
Tennessee State was 12-of-33 from the field in the first half while Murray State went 13-of-35. TSU knocked down 61.5 percent (8-of-13) of its free throws and MSU connected on 80 percent (8-of-10) of its attempts.
A triple from Kesi Hess christened the second half and tied the game at 37. Murray State managed to recapture the lead and stretched it to 58-48 with 10:12 left to play.
From there it was an uphill battle for TSU. The Lady Tigers closed to within three, 55-52, but the Racers built their advantage back up to 64-55 following a 3-pointer by Mallory Luckett with 5:58 remaining. TSU narrowed the gap, 68-65, once again with two minutes left to play but MSU withstood the rally and held on to win.
The Racers knocked down nine free-throws in the final two minutes to secure the victory.
TSU struggled from the free-throw line, only connecting on 18-of-31 attempts (58.1 percent). MSU was 17-of-20 from the charity stripe for 85 percent.
The Lady Tigers will return to action on Saturday at UT Martin when they take on the Skyhawks. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. in Skyhawk Arena.