NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rachel Allen scored 17 points, but the Tennessee State women’s basketball team fell to Eastern Kentucky, 79-75, in Thursday’s first game of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
Eastern Kentucky was led by Marie Carpenter’s 24 points, 22 of which came in the second half.
TSU had a seven-point advantage heading into the final period, but the Lady Colonels shot a scorching 51.9 percent during the final 20 minutes.
Tennessee State started fast as Morris scored from in-close off of a nice pass from Jayda Johnson on TSU’s first possession and Johnson followed that with back-to-back jumpers on the next two trips down.
With the Lady Tigers leading 14-11, Brianna Lawrence found LaTeasha Hill underneath the basket on an inbounds play. Hill caught the pass, converted a layup and was fouled. The junior made the ensuing free throw to put TSU up by six with 12:52 left in the first half.
Eastern Kentucky responded with three straight baskets to draw even, but the Lady Tigers scored on nine of their next 10 possessions as a part of a 19-7 run to pull ahead, 36-24, with 3:43 to go before halftime.
Briana Morrow nailed a free throw in the waning seconds of the stanza, and TSU went into the locker room with a 39-32 lead.
The Lady Tigers were 11-of-26 (42.3 percent) in the first 20 minutes and beat the Lady Colonels in second-chance points, 12-2.
Carpenter drained the first three hoops of the second half, and the Lady Colonels took the lead, 44-43, via a pair of free throws with only four minutes gone on the clock.
TSU, which had only four turnovers in the entire first half, started the second with three consecutive to aid the EKU cause.
Eastern Kentucky got up by as many as six, but an 8-0 TSU run later in the period put the Lady Tigers back in front, 62-60, with 8:05 to play. Morris led the charge with a pair of buckets, and her second caused EKU to call time.
The sides went back-and-forth for the remainder of the contest, with neither side gaining more than a two-point advantage until two Carpenter freebies gave the Lady Colonels a four-point cushion, 79-75.
Allen had one more shot, but it went wide and the Tennessee State women’s basketball season ended in the Nashville Municipal Auditorium by four points.
TSU was 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from the free throw line in the second half, after knocking down 16-of-19 (84.2 percent) in the first.