NASHVILLE --- First half free throw shooting hampered TSU's (2-1) bid to remain undefeated in the early 2004-2005 hoops season. The Lady Tigers shot 36 percent from the charity stripe in the opening half against cross-region opponent Cumberland University (7-2). The second half saw improved free throw shooting by Tennessee State but the Lady Bulldogs never backed down and handed TSU its first loss of the season.
Lady Tiger senior Kendra Bailey led all scorers with 24 points including a game high nine rebounds. Bailey also recorded two blocks and two steals in the contest.
The ballgame was close throughout as neither team was able to stake a double-digit lead. Tennessee State claimed a six-point lead with 4:11 remaining in the first half. Cumberland battled back to take a three-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs took the lead for good with 6:51 remaining in the game after Vita Venskunaite scored on a fast break layup. Cumberland pushed their biggest lead to five points at the four minute mark of the second half on a layup by Leighann Baker. CU went 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 16 seconds to ensure the victory.
Tennessee State managed only one three-pointer finishing 1-of-10 for 10 percent from beyond the arc. The Lady Tigers shot 39 percent from the floor while Cumberland posted a 40 percent field goal mark.
The Lady Bulldogs return home to Lebanon for the Nationwide Classic vs. Illinois-Springfield on December 3.
TSU concludes a season-opening four-game home stand Tuesday night with cross-town rival Fisk University. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.