Women?s basketball set to begin OVC play versus EIU
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Women?s basketball set to begin OVC play versus EIU


After a short break for the Christmas holiday, the Tennessee State University women's basketball team will return to the court against Eastern Illinois University in the first Ohio Valley Conference action of the season on Saturday, Dec.29, 2012. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.

Tennessee State (4-6, 0-0 OVC) is coming off a, 69-60, win over Lipscomb University on the road. TSU had dropped three straight before knocking off the cross town opponents.

TSU is 1-2 at home this season and only has one player averaging double-figures in scoring. Jasmin Shuler leads the team with 10.0 ppg while Simone Hopes follows with 9.5 points and team-best 7.3 points per game. Kesi Hess rounds out the top three scorers with 8.3 ppg.

As a team, TSU is averaging 55.9 points per outing while shooting 35.2 percent from the field and 24.6 percent from beyond the arc. TSU is currently shooting only 68.0 percent from the free-throw line while committing an average of 17.3 turnovers per game.

TSU averages 37.1 rebounds, 9.7 assists and 9.5 steals per game.

The Lady Tigers shook off a sluggish start against Lipscomb and overcame a double digit deficit to come back and defeat the Lady Bisons, 69-60, on the road. TSU extended its all-time series record to 18-3 over LU. Jasmin Shuler paced the TSU offense with a season-high 24 points while Chelsea Hudson added 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Freshman Brianna Lawrence had an impressive showing for TSU, finishing the game with seven points, four rebounds, three blocks and three steals off the bench.

Eastern Illinois has lost its last three games and fell to 5-6 on the season after dropping its most recent contest to Northern Illinois on the road.

In the loss to Northern Illinois, EIU only managed 17 first-half points and was held to a season-low 38 points in the game. Ta'Kenya Nixon was the only player to reach double-figures with 10 points to go with nine rebounds.

Eastern Illinois averages 62.6 points per game behind a 36.4 shooting percentage. The Bisons pull down 39.7 rebounds per game and average 16.3 turnovers per outing.

Mariah King is the team's leading scorer with 13.5 points per game while Nixon averages 12.4 ppg. Nixon has 29 steals this season. Sabina Oroszova pulls down a team-best 6.2 rebounds per game. Oroszova also has 16 blocks on the season.

EIU has wins over San Jose State, Buffalo, IUPUI, Evansville and Sacramento State. The Panthers are under the guidance of first year head coach Lee Buchanan.

Tennessee State and Eastern Illinois will match up for the 37th time in the series history with EIU holding on to a 26-10 lead. The series was fairly close, with EIU holding a slight, 13-10, advantage until the Panthers won 13 straight to swell the advantage to 26-10. TSU's last win over EIU, was a 67-62 decision in the Gentry Center on Dec.9, 2006.

The live radio broadcast can be heard at tsuradio.com while the video stream of the game will be available online at OVCDigitalNetwork.com.

TSU will face Louisville in non-conference action on the road to close out the year on Dec.31 before returning to OVC play against, Jacksonville State on Jan. 5.