Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team defeated Eastern Illinois, 57-44, Wednesday night in the Gentry Center.
Tennessee State (5-8, 2-0 OVC) snapped a 14-game losing streak to Eastern Illinois (5-11, 2-1 OVC) and began 2-0 in league play for the first time since the 1999-00 season.
I’mani Davis was the only TSU player to reach double-digits with a game-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds. Chelsea Hudson finished the game with nine points and six boards.
EIU was led by Sabina Oroszova’s double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds while Arnisha Thomas scored 10. Erica Brown pulled down 11 rebounds for the Panthers.
The first half wasn’t pretty as the stanza was a myriad of scoring droughts and turnovers. TSU only managed to make eight field goals while EIU registered nine in the opening frame.
The score was, 22-20, in favor of Eastern Illinois when Brianna Lawrence buried a three-pointer to give Tennessee State a, 23-22, advantage going into halftime.
The Lady Tigers began the second-half with a 6-0 run, fueled by buckets from I’mani Davis. The spurt put TSU on top, 29-22, and forced an EIU timeout.
The break temporarily stalled the TSU offense but a long-range bomb by Chelsea Hudson increased the Lady Tiger lead to double-digits three minutes later.
TSU built a 41-28 advantage after a steal and break-away lay-up by Jayda Johnson at the 11:14 mark. Despite going the next six minutes without scoring, the Lady Tigers maintained a double-digit cushion.
The Panthers managed to cut the deficit down to seven with 5:27 remaining but the Lady Tigers responded with a rally of their own. Jemilah Leonard buried a three-pointer from the corner and sparked a run that put the Lady Tigers back on top, 52-37.
TSU maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Tennessee State forced Eastern Illinois into 28 turnovers and turned the miscues into 20 points. TSU lost the battle of the boards, 48-38, but held the advantage in bench points, 24-9, and points in the paint, 28-18.
Tennessee State also shot a season-best 88.2 percent (15-of-17) from the free-throw line in the contest.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday at SIU Edwardsville. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. in the Vadalabene Center.