ASHEVILLE, N.C. --- Despite having two players score in double digits, the Lady Tigers were unable to overcome a 16-point first-half deficit and fell to UNC-Asheville, 59-47.
The Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run to open the first-ever meeting between the two programs that was finally snapped by senior Kisha Stewart (Memphis, Tenn.) at the 16:56 mark. The Lady Tigers were able to move as close as 12 before UNC-Asheville pulled ahead before the break. Going into the locker room, juniors Kendra Bailey (Cleveland, Ohio) and KaSheena Powe (Moulton, Ala.) had already shot perfect from the charity stripe, both going 2 for 2. Stewart was leading the Lady Tigers with six points.
In the second stanza, Tennessee State chipped away at the Bulldogs' lead but it was not quick enough to catch up before the end of regulation. With just over five minutes left in the game, the Lady Tigers attempted to get a rally started behind the free-throw shooting of Stewart. TSU was able to move within 14 after Powe, Bailey and junior Quanecia Fletcher (Moulton, Ala.) all made trips to the charity stripe. However, it was too little too late as the Lady Tigers fell to UNC-Asheville, 59-47.
The Bulldogs were able to capitalize on Tennessee State's turnovers, netting 27 points off those alone. UNC-Asheville also outperformed the Lady Tigers in the paint, notching 42 points to TSU's 20.
Stewart finished with a game-high 16 points in a career high 40 minutes on the hardwood. Classmate Odessa Kelly (Nashville, Tenn.) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and contributed five points. Junior Lakisha Clay (Detroit, Mich.) was the other Lady Tiger to score in the double digits, dropping in 10 points and grabbing six boards and two steals.