NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State women's basketball team will look to build upon claiming a victory in the final seconds when the Lady Tigers begin a key early-season Ohio Valley Conference road swing with games at Tennessee-Martin (Thursday) and Murray State (Saturday).
After being chosen a unanimous last place in the preseason OVC poll, the Lady Tigers have been the surprise of the early OVC schedule. TSU is 2-2 in conference play and stand 5-10 overall. The Lady Tigers evened their conference slate with an exciting 58-56 victory over Eastern Illinois in their last outing.
TSU's senior guard LaKisha Clay hit winning basket with 3.5 seconds remaining to edge the Panthers last Saturday in the Gentry Center. Clay had just made two of her previous 16 field attempts prior to connecting on her game winner.
The Lady Tigers will have to face the challenge of facing a team coming off momentum of its own. The Skyhawks took a 75-72 overtime victory over Murray State in overtime. The victory was UTM's second in a row and moved the Skyahwks to 3-2 in conference play.
A pair of first-year head coaches are leading the programs at their respective alma maters. Tracee Jones is leading the Lady Tigers improvement while Tara Tansil is leading the Skyhawks after the exit of co-head coaches Kim and Gary Van Atta in the late summer.
LaKisha Clay leads TSU in scoring and at 11.1 points per game and leads the OVC with her 3.0 steals per game. Kendra Bailey averages 10.4 ppg and is coming off a 15-rebound effort against EIU. Bailey had 12 of her boards on the offensive end. Leslie Dean has hovered around the double-digit mark in scoring most of the season and now stands at 10.0 ppg.
Nine players have seen starting duty for the Lady Tigers. LaKisha Clay and Bailey have started all 15 games while LaToya Clay has made 11 starts.