NASHVILLE --- Spotty first half shooting kept the Tennessee State women's basketball team (1-21, 0-12 OVC) from pulling out a win in its final home contest of the 2003-04 campaign. The Lady Tigers fell to Southeast Missouri State (13-10, 8-4 OVC) Saturday night, 87-58.
A layup by junior Kendra Bailey (Cleveland, Ohio) put the Lady Tigers on the board first and helped them stay competitive with the Otahkians, who came to the Gentry Center looking for their fifth-straight win. Carina Souza answered with her own layup, tying the game for the first and only time during the night. Tennessee State would once again hold the lead at 5-4 before Southeast Missouri State began to heat up from the floor.
The Lady Tigers hit a snag and were held up at seven points for more than four minutes as the Otahkians stormed to a 15-7 advantage. Southeast Missouri State then went on a 23-8 run that put it up by 24 points, 39-15. Back-to-back fouls sent junior Lakisha Clay (Detroit, Mich.) to the charity stripe where she made all four baskets, ending the Lady Tiger scoring drought. However, Tennessee State would only get as close as 19, 42-23, before the break.
The Lady Tigers clawed back to within 14 points to open the second stanza behind two jump shots by senior Odessa Kelly (Nashville, Tenn.) and back-to-back three pointers by senior Kisha Stewart (Memphis, Tenn.) and Clay. TSU would go on to shoot 71.4 percent from behind the arc in the second half alone. Unfortunately, that would be as close as Tennesse State would come to the red-hot Otahkians, who scored 22 second-half points in the paint, en route to winning the matchup, 87-58.
Miah Shelford was the Otahkians' leading scorer with 19 points while Yashika Sidbury and Sami Jo Cotton each netted 11 points.
Tennessee State was led in scoring by Stewart, who finished the night with 15 points and three rebounds. She also extended her streak to six for consecutive games with three or more three-point shots. Clay was the second-highest Lady Tiger scorer with 14 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 effort from the charity stripe.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Thursday as they travel to Kentucky to take on Murray State. Tip off is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.