Nashville, Tenn. --- It was a tale of two halves as Tennessee State University saw a, 31-17, halftime lead disappear in a, 60-50, loss to SIU Edwardsville after being outscored, 43-19, in the second frame Saturday night in the Gentry Center.
Tennessee State (6-12, 2-4 OVC) was led in scoring by Rachel Allen's 10 points while Simone Hopes pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.
SIU Edwardsville (9-7, 3-2 OVC) had two players post double-figures in scoring led by Katie Hempen with 19. Courtney Kenner added 10 while Michaela Herrod tallied 12 rebounds.
TSU was leading, 3-0, when Rachel Allen nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key. A few possessions later, lay-ups from Alana Morris and Jasmin Shuler put TSU on top, 10-0, and forced an SIUE timeout at the 15:08 mark.
The Lady Tigers built their advantage up to 15-2 before suffering a three-minute scoring drought that saw the Cougars post seven unanswered. A bucket by Destiney Gaston ended the skid for TSU and sparked a 6-2 run that made the score, 21-11, in favor of the home team.
In the second half, SIUE outscored TSU 11-4 to cut the deficit down to, 35-27, before back-to-back buckets put the Lady Tigers on top, 39-28.
A steal and break-away lay-up by Kim Haynes made TSU's lead, 41-30, but SIUE rallied off nine straight points to close within two.
With 5:37 left in the game, SUIE hit two free-throws to take a, 46-45, lead. TSU answered with a bucket on its trip down the floor but seven more unanswered points by the visitors put SIUE on top, 53-47, with 3:41 on the clock.
Rachel Allen knocked down a free-throw to make the score, 53-48, but another 5-0 spurt by SIUE increased the lead to double-digits, 58-48, with 2:08 left in the game.
TSU pulled within eight, 58-50, at the 1:54 mark but the Cougars were able to keep the Lady Tigers at bay.
Tennessee State went 18-of-61 (29.5 percent) from the field, including 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from three-point range. SIU Edwardsville connected on 17-of-61 (27.9 percent) of its shots from the field and 3-of-12 (25.0 percent) from long range.
TSU lost the battle of the boards, 50-48, and committed 22 turnovers compared to SIUE's 18.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Thursday, Jan 19 when they host Morehead State at 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.