Nashville --- Three Lady Tigers scored in double figures to help Tennessee State defeat Lipscomb, 69-66, Saturday night in Allen Arena.
Tennessee State improved to 3-3 on the season while Lipscomb fell to 2-3.
Sophomore Destiney Gaston led TSU with 17 points to go with seven rebounds and two blocks while sophomore Kesi Hess scored 16 points behind an impressive shooting performance. Sophomore Simone Hopes recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as sophomore Ashley Tate dished out seven assists.
Lipscomb was led in scoring by Jenna Bartsokas' 22 points while Leah McAlister posted 13.
TSU opened the game by outscoring Lipscomb, 7-2, before the Lady Bisons tied the score at the 16:22 mark. After trading buckets over the next several possessions, the Lady Tigers used a 7-1 run to move ahead, 22-16.
Lipscomb used a timeout slow TSU down and rallied to take a, 30-29, lead behind its three-point shooting. The lead, however, was short lived as Meredith Stafford answered with a triple from the corner to put TSU back on top, 32-30 with 3:33 left in the half.
The Lady Tigers were leading 40-35, when Lipscomb nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to make the halftime score, 40-38, in favor of Tennessee State.
A Lipscomb bucket tied the score, 40-40, in the early moments of the second half but TSU regained the lead on the next possession.
The rest of the game was a battle. A three-point bomb from Kesi Hess put TSU on top, 48-42, but Lipscomb wouldn't go away. The Lady Bisons narrowed the gap down to four points before a triple by Tanesha Stenson moved the Lady Tigers back up, 53-46.
At the 5:04 mark, TSU was leading 59-52 and seemed to be in control of the game when Lipscomb put together a 9-1 run over the next three minutes to knot the score, 60-60.
With time winding down, senior Meredith Stafford stepped up and scored two timely buckets to put TSU on top, 65-61, with 44 seconds on the clock. After missing their first three-point shot attempt, two offensive rebounds gave the Lady Bisons another opportunity to cut into the lead. Leah McAlister took advantage and drained a three-pointer to make the score, 65-64, with just 21 seconds left.
TSU moved ahead 67-64 when Kesi Hess sank two free-throws with 17 seconds left before Lipscomb once again closed to within one on its trip down the floor. After being fouled, Hess knocked down two more free-throws, to put TSU back up by three, 69-66, with only 10 seconds left in the game. Lipscomb's final shot attempt was off the mark.
Tennessee State shot a scorching, 50 percent from the field (26-of-52), including 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from three-point range. The Lady Tigers connected on 76.9 percent (10-of-13) of their free-throws and had 19 assists in the game.
The Lady Tigers will return to action on December 2, when they travel to Charleston, Illinois to face Eastern Illinois in the first conference action of the season. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. in Lantz Arena.