Nashville --- The Tennessee State University basketball team saw the game slip away in a disappointing, 57-55, loss to Jacksonville State in the first round of the OVC tournament, Wednesday night in the Municipal Auditorium.
Tennessee State (9-21) led 31-15 at halftime but Jacksonville State (10-20) outscored the Lady Tigers , 42-24, in the second half, to help pick up the win. In the opening nine minutes of the second half, JSU used a 20-4 run to erase a 16-point deficit.
Jasmin Shuler came off the bench to lead the Lady Tigers in scoring with 21 points behind seven three-pointers while Kim Haynes finished with 13 points. Destiney Gaston recorded a game-high 11 rebounds for TSU.
Jacksonville State had three players to score in double-digits led by Brittany Manning's 17 points. Brittany Wiley had 14 points while Danielle Vaughn added 10.
Both teams got off to a rocky start as the score was only 2-0, in favor of TSU, at the first media timeout. After trading the lead for a couple of possessions, a three-pointer by Meredith Stafford sparked a 9-0 run that gave TSU a, 15-5, lead at the 10:05 mark.
Jasmine Shuler caught fire and nailed three triples to increase the Lady Tiger advantage to 21-9 with 8:37 left in the half.
TSU outscored JSU, 10-6, the remainder of the half to go into the break leading, 31-15.
The second half was a different story as Jacksonville State used a quick six unanswered points to chop TSU's lead down to, 31-21. Another triple from Jasmin Shuler gave the Lady Tigers their first points of the half and put TSU up, 34-21, before an 11-0 spurt from the Gamecocks narrowed the gap down to just two, 34-32, with 13:25 left in the half.
JSU grabbed its first lead of the game, 36-35, following a couple of free-throws by Brittany Manning. After trading the lead for a couple of possessions, Jacksonville State went ahead, 41-38, with 7:56 remaining.
Moments later, Jasmin Shuler nailed a triple to knot the game at 41-all. The teams continued to battle and the lead wavered back-and-forth.
With 2:20 on the clock, TSU took a 53-49 lead behind a three-pointer from Kim Haynes. The Gamecocks, however, answered right back with consecutive buckets from Manning.
TSU was trailing, 55-53, when Destiney Gaston was fouled. She stepped up to the line to knock down two freebies to even the score, 55-55, with 23.4 seconds on the clock.
On the Gamecocks' trip down the floor, Brittany Wiley hit a jumper in the paint with five seconds left to put JSU on top, 57-55.
After inbounding the ball, Kim Haynes received it back and went the length of the court. She put up a shot just before the buzzer but it bounced off the rim.
Tennessee State shot 30.5 percent (18-of-59) from the field, including 37.9 percent (11-of-29) from three-point range. Jacksonville State shot 35.6 percent (21-of-59) from the field and 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from beyond the arc.
TSU had 17 turnovers while JSU registered 14.