Nashville --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team saw its lead slip away in the final minute against Morehead State, falling to the Eagles 62-58 in the Gentry Center on Sunday evening.
With the loss Tennessee State dropped its fifth straight and slipped to 3-8 (0-3 OVC) while Morehead State improved to 8-3 (3-0 OVC).
Tennessee State was leading 52-43 with 9:33 left and seemed to be in control of the game when a 9-2 run from Morehead brought the Eagles to within two, 54-52. In the final two minutes of the game MSU outscored TSU 8-2 to escape with the win.
Morehead State had four players to post double-digits in scoring led by Courtney Lumpkin's 23 points. Ashar Harris recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds while Chynna Bozeman (11) and Linda Dixon (10) also notched double figures.
After a somewhat slow start for both teams in the first half, Morehead began to click and moved ahead 22-12 with 11:27 on the clock.
Later in the frame the momentum shifted towards TSU when a free-throw by Simone Hopes sparked a 10-0 rally that gave the Lady Tigers a 25-24 lead with just 2:40 left in the half.
Meredith Stafford knocked down here second three-pointer of the half to give TSU a 29-26 lead at the halftime break.
The second half was a closely contested battle between both teams. TSU was holding on to a slight, 44-43, lead when eight unanswered points gave the Lady Tigers a 52-43 lead with 9:33 remaining.
The Eagles, however, would not go away. Over a span of two minutes, a couple of MSU three-pointers cut the TSU lead down to just two points, 54-52 with a little over five minutes remaining. The Lady Tigers were clinging to the lead over the next two minutes until a three-pointer by Chynna Bozeman put the Eagles on top, 57-56.
On the ensuing possession, TSU regained the lead, 58-57, behind two made free-throws from Destiney Gaston but an offensive rebound and put back from Ashar Harris handed the lead back to MSU, 59-58.
TSU missed its next shot attempt before another bucket from Harris made the score, 61-58, in favor of the visitors with just 26 seconds remaining.
On the next trip down the floor TSU committed a turnover and then fouled Courtney Lumpkin. Lumpkin made one of two free-throws to give the Eagles a 62-58 lead with 11 seconds left. The Lady Tigers' final two shot attempts were off the mark.
TSU shot 41.3 percent from the field (19-of-23), including 40 percent (4-of-10) from three-point range while MSU hit 35.4 percent (23-of-65) from the field and 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from beyond the arc. Both teams shot well from the free-throw line as the Tigers connected on 80 percent (16-of-20) and the Eagles shot 81.8 percent (9-of-11). MSU outrebounded TSU 44-29.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Tuesday when they host the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky in OVC action. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.