Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team defeated South Alabama, 74-69, Saturday afternoon in the Gentry Center.
With the win, TSU improved to 4-5 while South Alabama fell to 5-3 on the season.
Four Lady Tigers scored in double-figures led by Kim Haynes' 16 points. Destiney Gaston recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to go with three blocks while Kesi Hess scored 11. Jasmin Shuler finished the game with 10 points and Simone Hopes grabbed nine rebounds.
South Alabama was led in scoring by Mansa El's 23 points while Jennifer Johnson added 14. Sarda Peterson and Camille Reynolds each tallied 11 points apiece.
After falling behind, 5-0, Tennessee State finally got on the on board following a bucket from Tayla Foster.
TSU was trailing 10-5 when a three-pointer by Kesi Hess sparked a 13-0 run that put the Lady Tigers on top 18-10 with 13:24 left in the half.
Both teams suffered through scoring droughts until South Alabama knocked down a three-pointer to pull within five. Kesi Hess answered with another triple on TSU's trip down the floor and made the score, 27-19, in favor of the home team.
USA rallied off eight unanswered points to knot the game at 27-all before TSU went into halftime leading, 32-29.
In the second half, both teams traded buckets until a triple by Jasmin Shuler and a lay-up from Simone Hopes gave TSU a 39-33 advantage. TSU was leading 41-35 when a 7-3 run put the Lady Tigers up by double-digits.
With about eight minutes left in the game, Kim Haynes knocked down a three-pointer to make the TSU lead, 62-50. Over the next couple of minutes, the Jaguars used a short run to cut the deficit down to six but the Lady Tigers climbed back on top, 71-62 when Rachel Allen found Destiney Gaston under the basket.
USA pulled to within six before hitting a three-pointer with 8.1 seconds left in the game to close within four, 73-69. The Jaguars fouled Rachel Allen on the next possession but Allen knocked down 1-of-2 to make the score 74-69. USA's final shot attempt was off the mark.
Tennessee State went 25-of-63 (39.7 percent) from the field including a scorching 50 percent (9-of-18) from three-point range. South Alabama finished the game with a 38.7 field goal percentage (24-of-62) while shooting, 21.6 percent (6-of-23) from beyond the arc.
TSU outrebounded USA, 48-41 and also held the advantage in blocks, 4-1.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Jackson State.