Memphis, Tenn.--- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team fell to Memphis 76-78 Friday night in the first round of the Lady Tiger Thanksgiving Classic.
Kendra Appling led TSU with 19 points while Oby Okafor added 15. Nikki Rumph scored 12 points off the bench for the Lady Tigers.
After trading buckets for the first part of the game, Tennessee State (1-3) grabbed an 18-10 lead on a lay-up by LaDona Pierce at the 12:50 mark. Over the next two minutes, Memphis (1-3) outscored Tennessee State 10-2 to even the score 20-20.
Memphis captured the lead and increased its advantage to as many as eight (33-25) before TSU forged a comeback that cut the deficit down to two (37-39) with 1:28 left in the half. Memphis had a 43-39 lead at the break.
In the opening two minutes of the second half, Memphis upped its lead to eight (51-43). Tennessee State, however, responded by outscoring Memphis 21-4 over the next eight minutes to claim a 64-55 lead at the 11:04 mark.
TSU held the lead until a jumper by Jessica Hall with 13 seconds left on the clock gave Memphis a slight 77-76 advantage. Pierce shot the ball with five seconds left on the clock but it rolled off the rim as Memphis came away with the rebound in route to the 78-76 win.
Tennessee State will play in the consolation game against Louisiana Tech or Northwestern State tomorrow at 3 p.m.