NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A long-range buzzer-beater by North Florida sunk the Tennessee State women’s basketball team, 54-53, on Saturday night at the Gentry Center.
Chelsea Hudson led TSU (1-6) with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, but Brianna Morrow (11) and Jemilah Leonard (10) also scored in double figures.
The Lady Tigers were up, 50-49, when Hudson blocked a shot with a minute left. UNF (5-3) was forced to foul and TSU made three free throws to increase its lead to four with 15 seconds left.
Tennessee State fouled the Ospreys on their following possession and Paulina Zaveckaite nailed both shots from the charity stripe to cut the advantage to one.
An errant inbound pass went off of Hudson’s leg and out of bounds to give the Ospreys one last shot.
Destinee Smith caught the ball near mid-court and launched it 30 feet into the bottom of the net for the winning basket.
It was a fitting end to a game that featured 19 lead changes and the largest of which was just six points.
TSU had a tough time of it early on and started 2-of-15 from the field. Fortunately, the Lady Tigers’ defense forced nine turnovers through the game’s first 10 minutes and the score was tied, 9-9.
The sides played it close for the next eight minutes, with neither able to grab more than a one-possession advantage. UNF eventually went up by six when Smith canned a three at the 1:51 mark, but Brianna Lawrence answered with a triple of her own on TSU’s next possession to draw within three at halftime, 25-22.
UNF went on a 7-2 run early in the second stanza to go up, 39-34. However, Tennessee State scored six straight points from that point to take the lead with nine minutes to play.
The teams went back and forth, but TSU still led by one, 50-49, with one minute left in the game.
The Lady Tigers forced a whopping 31 turnovers, but the Ospreys won the battle of the boards (37 to 29) and made 5-of-11 three-pointers, including the game-winner.
Tennessee State will look to end its four-game losing streak on Dec. 15 when the team travels to Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.