Lady Tigers down Austin Peay in OVC opener
Friday, December 30, 2011
Lady Tigers down Austin Peay in OVC opener

Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team opened up Ohio Valley Conference play with a 95-81 win over Austin Peay Thursday night in the Gentry Center.

Four Lady Tigers scored in double-figures to help Tennessee State (5-8, 1-0 OVC) snap a three-game skid while Austin Peay (3-11, 0-1 OVC) dropped its third straight.

Tayla Foster led TSU with 22 points while Jasmin Shuler registered 21. Destiney Gaston recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds as Rachel Allen came off the bench to score 15 points and grab seven rebounds.

Whitney Hanley paced Austin Peay with 22 points while Jasmine Rayner (21), Meghan Bussabarger (13), and Kristen Stainback (11) also scored in double-digits.

Early in the first half, TSU called a timeout after three quick buckets from APSU led to the Lady Tigers falling behind, 6-0. A lay-up by Jasmin Shuler finally got TSU on the board but the Lady Tigers still trailed 9-2 following an APSU three-pointer.

TSU began to rally when Rachel Allen drove to the lane and connected in the paint with 15:12 on the clock. The bucket sparked a 10-2 run that put the Lady Tigers on top, 12-11.

Over the next several possessions, the teams traded buckets. The Lady Govs managed to build a, 22-17, lead but Jasmin Shuler nailed a triple to pull the Lady Tigers back to within two.

TSU was trailing, 26-23, when a three-pointer by Kesi Hess fueled a 15-0 run that gave the Lady Tigers a, 38-26, lead and forced an APSU timeout. The Lady Govs cut the deficit down to six before the Lady Tigers went into the break leading, 42-34.

Alana Morris christened the second half with a jumper before a small spurt by the visitors cut the TSU lead down to six. The Lady Tigers went back on top, 52-41, following a long ball from Jasmin Shuler and a jumper by Tayla Foster.

TSU increased its advantage to 56-43 on an old fashioned three-point play by Rachel Allen before APSU outscored the home team, 7-1, to pull within, seven.

A free-throw by Kesi Hess put the Lady Tigers back on top by double-digits, 62-52, before TSU grabbed a 70-54 lead with a little less than nine minutes left in the game.

Austin Peay cut the deficit down to 72-61 at the 7:21 mark before pulling to within 10 (82-72) with 3:32 remaining.  

The Lady Govs pulled within single digits once again but the Lady Tigers knocked down 11 free-throws in the last 1:18 of the game to seal the win.

TSU finished the contest with a season-best 72.9 percent (35-of-48) from the free-throw line.

The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 31 when they face Eastern Kentucky on the road. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. (est) in McBrayer Arena.

Notes

- Tracee Wells is now 7-6 vs. Austin Peay as a head coach

- 95 points is the most TSU has scored since posting 99 against Cumberland in the 2008-09 season

- Destiney Gaston recorded her fourth career double-double

- Tayla Foster scored in double-digits for the third consecutive game

- Jasmin Shuler posted 20-plus points for the second time and double-figures for the 11th time this season

- TSU is now 24-32 all-time vs. Austin Peay