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Lady Tigers Hold Off Bulldogs, 59-54
Sunday, December 14, 2008

Huntsville, Ala. --- After sleep walking through the first half, the Tennessee State University women’s basketball team came alive to defeat a feisty Alabama A&M squad, 59-54, on the road Sunday afternoon in T.M. Elmore Gymnasium.


With the win, Tennessee State defeated Alabama A&M for the first time in the short series history. TSU now trails the series, 1-2.


Tennessee State (4-6) could not get it going in the first half and saw Alabama A&M (2-4) go ahead 8-2 at the 13:14 mark.  


The Lady Tigers were slowly chipping at the lead when a break-away lay-up by Nikki Rumph brought TSU to within two (18-16) late in the first half. A&M, however, hit a shot at the buzzer to carry a 21-16 lead into the break.


In the first half, the Lady Tigers committed 17 turnovers and only connected on seven field goals.


TSU quickly erased the halftime deficit following a 10-footer and a 3-point bucket from Tiffany Jackson and Kendra Appling, respectively.


Jackson led TSU with 23 points and Appling tallied 15. Nikki Rumph finished the game with 10 points.


TSU grabbed its first lead of the game (24-23) after Kendra Appling nailed her second 3-pointer of the half. Appling’s triple sparked a 16-6 run that gave the Lady Tigers their biggest lead of the contest (37-27).


Not to be denied, the Bulldogs continued to fight and outscored the Lady Tigers 16-5 over a span of nearly seven minutes to reclaim the lead (45-44) with 6:24 left to play in the half.


TSU went back on top 46-45 after Tiffany Jackson connected on a lay-up and the Lady Tigers held on to the lead for the rest of the game.


With twelve seconds left on the clock and holding a slight 55-54 lead, two made free-throws gave TSU a 57-54 advantage. On the ensuing possession, Kendra Appling forced a Bulldog turnover and got fouled. She nailed two free-throw shots with one second left on the clock to ice the game.


Tennessee Sate shot 47.8 percent from the field and tallied 17 assists as a team.


The Lady Tigers return to action on Tuesday when they face off against the Lady Eagles of North Carolina Central at McDougald Gymnasium.