Carbondale, Ill. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team picked up its first win of the season with a 57-43 victory over Southern Illinois Tuesday night in SIU Arena.
The Tennessee State (1-1) defense held Southern Illinois (0-2) to just 23.2 percent shooting from the field and blanked the Salukis (0-of-15) from three-point range.
Meredith Stafford led the Lady Tigers with 13 points while Kesi Hess chipped in 12. Alana Morris led the team in rebounds and nearly recorded a double-double with 10 boards and nine points. Tayla Foster grabbed eight rebounds while Simone Hopes tallied seven.
Charnise Mitchell was the lone SIU player to post double figures with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Tigers got off to a slow start and fell behind 8-2 before a three-pointer from Jasmine Shuler sparked a 10-0 run that led to TSU grabbing a 12-8 lead. The Lady Tiger offense continued to click and another rally behind the shooting of Kesi Hess and Meredith Stafford increased the advantage to 23-12 with 6:19 on the clock.
Two free-throws by Tanesha Stenson followed by another 3-pointer from Hess made the score, 33-14, in favor of the Lady Tigers with 3:02 remaining.
After shooting 16.7% in the opening four minutes of the game, TSU finished the half shooting 39.3 percent, including 50 percent from three-point range. The Lady Tigers led 33-17 at the break.
In the second half, a couple of free-throws from Alana Morris made TSU's lead 45-25 at the 15:19 mark. The Salukis cut the deficit down to 15 (45-30) before an old fashioned three-point play by Tayla Foster stretched the Lady Tiger lead back up to 52-33 (8:37).
Down the stretch, SIU chopped the deficit down to 12 points when TSU suffered through nearly a three-minute scoring drought but the Lady Tigers maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
TSU finished the game with a 35.2 field goal percentage and knocked down eight triples in the contest.
The Lady Tigers will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 18 when they host Cumberland in the home opener. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.