Cleveland, Ohio --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team dropped its season opener to Cleveland State, 74-56, on the road.
Tennessee State falls to 0-1 to open the season while Cleveland State moves to 1-0.
Three empty possessions led to TSU falling behind 7-0 early in the game. The Lady Tigers finally got on the board following a steal and lay-up by Tayla Foster at the 16:22 mark. The offense started to pick up and, over the next four minutes, TSU outscored CSU 7-1 to go ahead, 9-8.
The teams traded the lead over the next few possessions until the Vikings used a run to regain the lead, 24-13. The Lady Tigers cut the deficit down to single digits behind a small spurt that included a 3-pointer by Kesi Hess and a lay-up by Jasmin Shuler.
A bucket by Simone Hopes in the paint made the score, 26-23, before CSU posted four unanswered points to go into break leading, 30-23.
Both teams knocked down 10 field goals in the first half but the difference was at the free-throw line as TSU was 2-of-9 from the charity stripe compared to an 8-of-11 showing from CSU. The Vikings also held the first half advantage in rebounds, 23-13.
Much like the first half, TSU got off to a slow start in the second frame. CSU increased its advantage to 35-23 about a minute and a half into play. The Vikings stretched the advantage to, 46-32, before the Lady Tigers narrowed the gap down to 10.
CSU went on top, 53-38, before five straight points from Jasmin Shuler once again pulled TSU to within 10. The Vikings, however, kept responding with runs and maintained a double-digit lead. The Lady Tigers were unable to overcome the deficit.
Jasmin Shuler caught fire in the last few minutes of the game but it wasn't enough as TSU went on to lose, 76-54.
Tennessee State finished the game with a 37.5 field goal percentage (24-of-64) including 5-of-1 (3-of-12) (26.3 percent) from three-point range. Cleveland State knocked down 48 percent of its shots (24-of-50) from the field but only made 25 percent from long range. TSU shot a dismal 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from the free-throw line compared to CSU's 76.7 shooting percentage (23-of-30) from the charity stripe.
The Lady Tigers continue the season-opening road swing when they travel to Columbus to face Ohio State University on Sunday, Nov. 13. Game time is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start at Value City Arena.