Nashville --- The final score wasn't indicative of how hard the Lady Tigers played in an 80-66 loss to Belmont Tuesday night in the Curb Event Center.
The game was close the whole night until Tennessee State (3-6) suffered a couple of scoring droughts that helped Belmont (3-5) pull away down the stretch of the second half. With less than five minutes left in the game, the Lady Tigers trailed by three when the Briuns used a spurt to pull away for good.
Belmont had four players to post double digits led by Shaunda Strayhorn's game-high 26 points. Haley Nelson added 16 while Tereva Moore and Alyssa Visbeen turned in 11 points apiece.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle that ended with the score tied at 44-all at the break.
In the second half, the score was tied, 52-52, when Belmont outscored TSU 9-2 over a span of nearly seven minutes. A triple by Jasmine Brimm brought TSU back to within three, 64-61, with 4:45 left.
The Briuns answered with six straight points to increase the advantage to 70-61 with 2:40 on the clock.
TSU narrowed the gap down to seven points but could get no closer as BU knocked downed 10 free-throws in the final two minutes of the game.
Tennessee State shot 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field while Belmont connected on 50 percent (21-of-42) of its shots. TSU went 13-of-17 from the line for a 76.5 shooting percentage while Belmont made 35-of-41 free-throw attempts (85.4 percent).
The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday with a non-conference match-up against Southern Mississippi. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the Gentry Center.