Nashville --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team posted a season-high 73 points but it wasn't enough in a, 77-73, loss to Jacksonville State Thursday night in the Gentry Center.
Tennessee State (5-13, 2-6 OVC) fell behind by double-digits late in the second half but battled back to within two before Jacksonville State (7-12, 4-4 OVC) eventually went on to win.
Tayla Foster nearly posted her second straight double-double with a career-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Kim Haynes also registered a career-high with 17 points while Meredith Stafford chipped in 12.
TSU did not have an answer for Brittany Wiley as she led JSU in scoring and finished the game with 28 points and eight rebounds. Zenobia Pitts poured in 18 points while Danielle Beneby added 13.
After both teams battled in the first half, Jacksonville State went into the break holding on to a slight, 40-39 lead over Tennessee State.
The Gamecocks opened up the second half with an 8-3 run to go ahead, 48-42. An old fashioned three-point play from Tayla Foster cut the deficit down to three but JSU stretched its advantage back up to double-digits near the halfway mark.
With 6:33 left in the game, a jumper by Brittany Wiley gave JSU its largest lead of the game before a triple from Meredith Stafford sparked a 13-4 TSU rally. A lay-up by Stafford capped the run and made the score, 70-68, in favor of the visitors with 3:48 left.
TSU's next three possessions were empty as JSU built its lead back up to 74-68 with 2:06 on the clock. TSU was trailing 75-70 when Kim Haynes buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to close back within two, 75-73, with 24 seconds remaining.
With only 19 seconds left, the Lady Tigers were forced to foul and sent Willey to the line. She knocked down two free-throws to give JSU a 77-73. On the ensuing possession, TSU missed its final four shot attempts as JSU held on to win.
Tennessee State shot an improved 45.5 percent (25-of-55) from the field, including 39.1 percent (9-of-23) from three-point range but struggled from the charity stripe on 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) shooting.
Jacksonville State shot 41.3 percent (26-of-63) from the field and 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from beyond the arc. The Gamecocks knocked down 81.8 percent of their free-throws (18-of-22).
TSU out-rebounded JSU, 41-35, but committed 24 turnovers compared to the Gamecocks' 16.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 22, when they host Tennessee Tech. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.