Lady Tigers snap skid with win against Murray State
Friday, February 4, 2011

Nashville  ---  The Tennessee State University women's basketball team snapped a seven game losing skid Thursday night with a, 73-70, win over Murray State in the Gentry Center.

Despite giving up nearly a double-digit second half lead, Tennessee State (6-16, 3-9 OVC) was able to defeat Murray State (6-17, 2-10 OVC) and come away with the win.

Meredith Stafford led TSU with 16 points while Tayla Foster added 12. Simone Hopes just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

Murray State had four players in double-digits led by Jessica Winfrey's 17 points. Rachael Isom added 14 while Kayla Lowe posted 13. Mariah Robinson also registered double-digits with 10.

In the first half, TSU grabbed a 12-6 lead following a jumper by Destiney Gaston and a triple from Kim Haynes. MSU answered with a couple of buckets to close within two but five unanswered points from the Lady Tigers bumped TSU's advantage up to, 17-10, with about nine minutes left in the half.

The Racers, however, responded with a 9-1 run to capture a, 19-18, lead. Over the next four minutes, MSU continued to build on its lead and went up, 27-18, with 3:23 left in the half. The Lady Tigers outscored the Racers, 10-4, the rest of the half to go into the break trailing, 31-28. 

Tennessee State only shot 31 percent from the field, including 16.7 percent from three-point range and committed 14 turnovers in the first half.

Jasmine Brimm nailed a triple from the corner to even the score at 31-all in the opening moments of the second half. Murray State briefly regained the lead but a 7-0 rally sparked by a jumper from Meredith Stafford put TSU on top, 38-32.

TSU was leading, 40-34, when MSU used a 7-2 run to cut the lead down to just one, 42-41. Back-to-back buckets from Simone Hopes and Ashley Tate made TSU's lead, 46-41 but a three-pointer by Kayla Lowe brought MSU back to within two.

An offensive rebound and a putback by Simone Hopes gave TSU a, 50-44, advantage with 9:35 on the clock. Murray State cut the deficit down to three points twice before Tennessee State used a 10-4 run to take a 63-54 lead with 4:21 left in the game.

With 1:49 left in the game, Murray State hit a three-pointer to cut TSU's lead down to, 65-61. About twenty seconds later, MSU hit a couple of freebies to make the score, 66-63, in favor of TSU.

After TSU made one-of-two free-throws, MSU closed to within two, 69-67, on its trip down the floor. On the ensuing possession TSU committed a crucial turnover that allowed Murray State to come down the floor and tie the game, 69-69, with 28 seconds left in the game.

The Lady Tigers, however, answered with a bucket from Tayla Foster with 18 seconds left to give TSU a, 71-69, lead.

On the next play, Maria Robinson was fouled with 11 seconds left and went to the line and made the second of two attempts.  TSU had the ball with a slight, 71-70, lead, so Murray State was forced to foul.

After being fouled with 4.6 seconds left in the game, Meredith Stafford stepped up to the line and knocked down two huge free-throws to put TSU ahead, 73-70.

Murray State's final shot attempt was off the mark.

The Lady Tigers return to action this Saturday when they host UT Martin in the Gentry Center. Game time is slated for a 5:30 p.m. start.