The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team will return to action on Thursday against Morehead State in the first round of the 2015 OVC Tournament. The Lady Tigers will tip-off against the Eagles at 2 p.m. in Municipal Auditorium. The match-up between two teams will be the second in eight days.
THE LADY TIGERS AT A GLANCE
Tennessee State (15-12, 12-4 OVC) won its seventh consecutive game after defeating Belmont University, 70-53, Saturday night in the Curb Event Center. The Lady Tigers earned the No. 3 seed in the OVC Tournament after going undefeated (7-0) in the month of February. The seven-game winning streak is the longest since the 1997-98 season.
The Lady Tigers are led in scoring by redshirt Senior Chelsea Hudson who averages 14.3 points per game. Hudson also leads the team in rebounding with 7.8 per outing while Briana Morrow pulls down a team second-best 6.1 rpg. I’mani Davis is TSU’s second leading scorer with 10.4 ppg as Brianna Morrow (8.5 ppg) rounds out the top three scorers.
TSU is shooting 38.1 percent from the field while averaging 66.9 points per outing. The Lady Tigers have struggled from the free-throw line, only connecting on 61.3 percent of their attempts but force opponents to 20.6 turnovers per game.
The Lady Tigers are led by third year head coach and Hall of Famer, Larry Joe Inman.
LAST TIME OUT
Tennessee State used stifling defense and hot shooting to defeat Belmont, 70-53, in the regular season finale. TSU led by as many as 25 points and made eight three-pointers in the contest. The Bruins used a 9-0 spurt down to try and get back in the game but the contest was never in question as the Lady Tigers held on for the win. Briana Morrow led TSU with 19 points while Chelsea Hudson finished with 17. I’mani Davis chipped in 14 points.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Morehead State (12-17, 8-8 OVC) dropped its second straight after falling to Jacksonville State in the regular season finale. The Eagles fell to the Gamecocks, 83-78, in overtime and have lost four of their last six.
Almesha Jones leads MSU in scoring with 17.8 points per game while Shay Steele (14.0 ppg) also averages double-digits. Eriel McKee is the third leading scorer on the team with 11.8 points per outing.
The Eagles are shooting .412 from the field while posting 70.3 points per contest. MSU is shooting 28.8 percent from three-point range and 73.3 percent from the charity stripe.
TSU will match up with Morehead State for the 54th time in the long series history with the Eagles holding a 30-23 advantage. TSU claimed both meetings of the regular season, narrowly escaping with a 75-74, victory in the Gentry Center last week. TSU and Morehead State have never met in the OVC Tournament.
LAST TIME THEY MET
The TSU seniors combined to score 42 points and led the Lady Tigers past Morehead State, 75-74. Hudson’s 20 points led TSU while I’mani Davis netted 16. Rachel Allen and Jayda Johnson poured in 10 to round out the double-digit scorers for TSU.
While the Lady Tigers benefitted from a handful of scorers, the defense caused 18 turnovers and blocked five shots.
MSU was paced by Shay Steele who scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds.
The game was a see-saw battle throughout the entire contest. A missed TSU free throw gave MSU one final chance to pull out a win with one second left. MSU inbounded the ball underneath the goal, but the pass was too hot to handle and the final horn sounded without a shot attempt.
In a game that was virtually even across the board, TSU outshot MSU 43 to 42 percent to escape with the win.
Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information