NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One final shot at the horn could not swing the see-saw game in favor of the Lady Tigers, as the Tennessee State women’s basketball team fell to Belmont, 64-62, at home on Saturday.
Brianna Lawrence (15 points) made two three-pointers in the final minute of the game to pull her team within two, but what would have been her game-winning buzzer beater fell just short.
Chelsea Hudson paced TSU (8-10, 5-2 OVC) with 16 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth straight double-double.
Belmont (7-14, 4-4 OVC) had three scorers finish in double figures led by Sally McCabe who poured in a game-high 18.
A Belmont zone to start the game forced the Lady Tigers to shoot from outside and Chelsea Hudson, Rachel Allen and Jemilah Leonard responded by canning a three-pointer apiece. The solid shooting from behind the arc put TSU up, 17-12, after the opening 10 minutes.
The Bruins weathered the storm and went on a 12-2 run to take a five-point lead of their own with 5:37 to go in the half. TSU had a pair of turnovers and shot just 1-for-5 during the stretch.
The Lady Tigers quickly tied the score and even went back on top by one when Leonard hit another three. However, BU’s Torie Vaught made her only triple of the season to give her team a, 31-29, lead at halftime.
Belmont held TSU to 34 percent (11-of-32) shooting during the opening stanza, but the Lady Tiger defense was equally as strong, forcing 12 turnovers.
There were eight lead changes through the first 13 minutes of the second half, and neither team could stake more than a one-possession lead. Belmont finally formed a small cushion when a three-pointer put the visitors ahead, 50-46, with 6:39 to play.
The Bruins maintained their small lead and eventually went up by seven after a pair of free throws with one minute to play.
TSU tried to mount a comeback, but the rebounding (41 to 32) and shooting (45 to 34 percent) disparities proved too much to overcome.
The Lady Tigers will stay at home to host OVC-leading UT Martin on Jan. 28. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 6 p.m.