Morehead, Ky. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team fought back from a double-digit deficit but couldn't complete the comeback in a disappointing, 84-82, loss to Morehead State Thursday night in Johnson Arena.
Both teams battled throughout the game's entirety, as the contest wasn't decided until the final seconds. The game was tied when Morehead State (15-6, 8-2 OVC) scored with only two seconds left to hold off Tennessee State (5-15, 2-8 OVC).
Tayla Foster went 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-6 from three-point range to lead TSU with 24 points. Meredith Stafford posted 15 points while Kesi Hess added 14. Destiney Gaston finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds Kim Haynes tallied a game-best six assists.
Chynna Bozeman led MSU with 28 points while Courtney Lumpkin added 21. Ashar Harris recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as Linda Dixon added 11.
After trading buckets, the teams played to an, 8-8, deadlock with five minutes ticked off the clock. Over the next five minutes, Morehead State outscored Tennessee State, 10-2 to take an 18-10 lead at the 10:26 mark.
A three-pointer made the Morehead State lead 26-17 before the Eagles grabbed a double-digit lead, 34-24, with 2:35 left in the half.
A Lady Tiger run, however, fueled by a putback from Alana Morris and two triples from Kesi Hess brought TSU to within two, 34-32, with 45 seconds left on the clock.
MSU scored a bucket to carry a, 36-32, lead into the halftime break.
Back-to-back triples from Meredith Stafford and Tayla Foster put TSU on top, 38-36, in the opening moments of the second half. The Eagles answered with a triple but Tayla Foster once again connected from long range to make the score, 42-39, in favor of the Lady Tigers.
With the score tied at 43-all, MSU used a spurt to capture a 53-47 lead with 12:30 on the clock. Another run swelled the MSU advantage to 66-55 with a little over eight minutes left to play.
Not to be denied, TSU forged yet another comeback behind nine unanswered points. With MSU leading, 75-67, free-throws from Simone Hopes and Meredith Stafford followed by a triple from Tayla Foster cut the deficit down to just two. On TSU's next possession, Stafford drove the baseline and dropped in a lay-up to knot the score, 75-75, with only 1:49 remaining.
MSU reclaimed the advantage, 77-75, on the next possession before Tayla Foster nailed her fourth three-pointer of the game to put TSU back on top, 78-77 (1:08).
On the Eagles' next possession Chynna Bozeman buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the lead, 80-78, back to Morehead with less than a minute to play.
After missing their next shot attempt, the Lady Tigers were forced to foul. Bozeman made one-of-two to make the score, 81-78. A bucket from Kim Haynes brought TSU to within one, 81-80, before MSU went to the line again.
Courtney Lumpkin made one-of-two to make the score, 82-80 with only 13 seconds left. Kim Haynes drove all the way to the paint to tie the game, 82-82, with only six seconds on the clock. Courtney Lumpkin however drove the length of the floor and scored the ball in with two seconds left.
TSU's final heave from the backcourt was off the mark.
Tennessee State posted a season-high 82 points and shot 46.8 percent from the field. The Lady Tigers went 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) from three-point range but struggled from the line only knocking down 13-of-20 (65 percent).
Morehead State shot 43.3 percent from the field (29-of-67) and only 30 percent (6-of-20) from deep. The Eagles made 20-of-27 (74.1 percent) from the charity stripe.
TSU committed 18 turnovers compared to 13 MSU miscues and the Eagles outscored the Lady Tigers, 44-28, in the paint. The TSU bench scored 33 points while the MSU bench only posted seven.
The Lady Tigers will continue on this road swing with a contest at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. Game time is slated for a 4:15 p.m. start at McBrayer Arena.