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First half woes haunt Lady Tigers in loss to EIU
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
First half woes haunt Lady Tigers in loss to EIU

Charleston, Ill. ---  Tennessee State outscored Eastern Illinois in the second half but it was not enough to overcome a first half deficit in an, 88-73, loss to the Panthers Monday night in Lantz Arena.

Jasmin Shuler led Tennessee State (7-13, 3-5 OVC) in scoring for the second straight game with 22 points to go with four rebounds. Donyeah Mayfield had 10 points and eight rebounds while Kim Haynes led TSU with six assists.

Eastern Illinois (15-4, 6-0 OVC) had six players to score in double-digits led by Ta'Kenya Nixon (16). Sydney Mitchell (15), Mariah King (13), Jordyne Crunk (11), Kelsey Wyss (11) and Chantelle Pressley (10) also posted double figures.

TSU was up, 4-3, when EIU scored nine straight points to take a 12-4 lead. Destiney Gaston knocked down a couple of free-throws to end a three-minute scoring drought for the Lady Tigers but the Panthers scored again to go ahead, 14-6.

At the 14:02 mark, Kim Haynes buried a triple from the top of the key to spark a rally that pulled TSU within one, 16-15.  The Panthers, however, answered with a spurt that put them on top, 23-15.

Avery Jones scored in the paint to snap another three-minute skid for TSU but EIU used a 6-0 run to capture a, 29-17, advantage. The Lady Tigers were down, 34-24, when the Panthers hit consecutive three-pointers to make the score, 40-24, with about three minutes left in the half.

Tennessee State went into the locker room trailing, 47-31, at the break.

In the second half, Eastern Illinois outscored Tennessee State 11-6 in the first four and half minutes to move ahead, 58-37. Simone Hopes connected in the paint before Jasmin Shuler hit a three to cut the deficit down to 65-48.

The score was, 72-52, in favor of the home team when an old fashioned three-point play by Alana Morris sparked a rally that cut the deficit down to 14 points, 74-60, with 8:33 left in the game.

Over the next five minutes, the Lady Tigers were outscored 10-5 and the Panthers lead increased to 84-65.

The Lady Tigers rallied off seven unanswered points to chop the deficit down to, 84-72, with 2:19 left in the game but that would be as close as they would get.

Eastern Illinois closed out the game by outscoring TSU, 4-1, to go on to win, 88-73.

TSU went 30-of-80 from the field (37.5 percent) and 6-of-20 (30. 0 percent) from three-point range while EIU shot 48.5 percent (33-of-68) from the field and 50.0 percent (9-of-18) from beyond the arc.

The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Austin Peay. Game time is slated for 5:15 p.m. in the Dunn Center.