Lady Tigers open OVC play at Eastern Illinois
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The Tennessee State University women's basketball team will play a couple of early conference games this week,  beginning with a match-up at Eastern Illinois on Thursday. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Lantz Arena.

The Lady Tigers are currently 3-3 and are coming off a 69-66 win over Lipscomb on Saturday at Allen Arena.

The sophomore class paced the Lady Tiger offense in the win, as Destiney Gaston recorded a career-best 17 points. Kesi Hess added 16 points while Simone Hopes recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ashley Tate dished out a career-best and game high seven assists in the game.

Freshman Tayla Foster and senior Meredith Stafford are currently the team's two leading scorers. Foster is averaging 10.0 ppg while Stafford is turning in 9.8 points per outing. Sophomore Simone Hopes and freshman Alana Morris are leading the team in rebounds averaging 5.5 caroms each per contest.  

The radio broadcast can be heard online at (WTST). The game will also be on

The Eastern Illinois Panthers (2-4) are coming off a 1-1 record in the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament with a win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday. EIU had lost three straight before Saturday's win. Mariah King (14.2 ppg) and Chantelle Pressley (12.3 ppg) lead the Panthers in scoring while Pressley pulls down a game best 6.0 boards per game.

Thursday will mark the 33rd meeting between TSU and Eastern Illinois. The Panthers lead the series, 22-10, and have won 10 straight over the Lady Tigers. TSU's last win against Eastern Illinois was a 67-62 victory on 12/9/06 in the Gentry Center.

At the 5:04 mark of the second half, TSU was leading 59-52 and seemed to be in control of the game when Lipscomb put together a 9-1 run over the next three minutes to knot the score, 60-60.

With time winding down, senior Meredith Stafford stepped up and scored two timely buckets to put TSU on top, 65-61, with 44 seconds on the clock. After missing their first three-point shot attempt, two offensive rebounds gave the Lady Bisons another opportunity to cut into the lead. Leah McAlister took advantage and drained a three-pointer to make the score, 65-64, with just 21 seconds left.

TSU moved ahead 67-64 when Kesi Hess sank two free-throws with 17 seconds left before Lipscomb once again closed to within one on its trip down the floor. After being fouled, Hess knocked down two more free-throws, to put TSU back up by three, 69-66, with only 10 seconds left in the game. Lipscomb's final shot attempt was off the mark.

TSU will face Southeast Missouri in another OVC contest on Saturday, Dec. 4 before returning to non-conference action at Belmont on Dec. 7 and Southern Mississippi on Dec. 11 in the Gentry Center.