Preview: Lady Tigers hit the road for crucial OVC contest
Friday, February 22, 2013
Preview: Lady Tigers hit the road for crucial OVC contest

The Tennessee State University women's basketball team will return to the court after a week away from action when the Lady Tigers go on the road to face the Cougars of SIU Edwardsville on Monday, Feb. 25. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. in the Vadalabene Center.

Tennessee State is coming off a disappointing, 77-58, loss to UT Martin at home on Monday. With the loss the Lady Tigers fell to 11-13 and 7-6 in the conference. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the TSU. The Lady Tigers are fourth in the OVC East Division standings.

With the OVC Tournament approaching, each game down the stretch is crucial. The Lady Tigers will look to clench a spot within these final three contests.

Tennessee State's three top leading scorers are Kesi Hess (12.0 ppg), Simone Hopes (11.4 ppg) and Jasmin Shuler (9.2 ppg). Hopes also leads the Lady Tigers in rebounding with 6.7 boards per outing.

As a team, TSU is averaging 60.6 points per contest while shooting 36.6 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from beyond the arc. TSU is currently connecting only 66.9 percent from the free-throw line while committing an average of 16.7 turnovers per game.

TSU averages 38.1 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 9.3 steals per game. The Lady Tigers are under first year head coach Larry Joe Inman.

The Tennessee State University women's basketball team won their third straight contest with a 54-53 win over Belmont University Saturday night in the Gentry Center. TSU saw a double-digit lead disappear  within the last five minutes of the game but the Lady Tigers were able to hold the Bruins off. Rachel Allen knocked down what would prove to be the winning free-throw with 17 seconds left to propel the Lady Tigers to the win. Simone Hopes led TSU with 11 points while Kesi Hess added 10. Rachel Allen and Jasmin Shuler added eight points apiece.   

SIUE fell to Austin Peay (67-53) before defeating Murray State (79-68) last week. The Cougars have an overall record of 13-13 (7-7 OVC) and sit in fourth place in the West Division.

In the Cougars' most recent victory over Murray State, SIUE posted 55 points in the second half - a season-best- to come from behind and defeat the Racers. Jazmin Hill led the team with 15 points while Raven Berry and Tierny Austin added 14. Berry recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds. CoCo Moore followed with 11 points as Ashley Capotosto just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. 

As a team, SIUE is averaging 62.6 points per game behind a .373 shooting percentage. SIUE is shooting .264 from beyond the arc and recording 42.3 rebounds per outing. The Cougars register 12.0 assists, 16.3 turnovers and 8.7 steals per contest.

Raven Berry (14.5 ppg) leads the team in scoring Tierny Austin (11.5 ppg) while CoCo Moore (8.9 ppg) rounds out the top three scorers for SIUE.  Berry, who is ranked among the top 10 in the OVC in overall rebounding, is fourth in the league in offensive boards while ranking 60th in the nation.

SIUE leads the OVC in offensive rebounds and offensive rebounding percentage. The Cougars also top the league in rebounding margin.

Tennessee State and SIU Edwardsville will meet for the fourth time in the series history. SIUE holds a slight 2-1 series advantage. Last season, SIUE claimed the only meeting of the season, 60-50, while the teams split 1-1, the previous season.

Live video of TSU vs. SIUE will be available on

TSU will close out the regular season at home with match-ups against Morehead State (Feb. 28) and Eastern Kentucky (March 2).