Tennessee State beat Morehead State in a matchup that helped shape the field for the OVC Tournament.
A strong third quarter was the pivotal portion of the game that powered the Tigers (10-15, 6-9) to a 61-49 wire-to-wire win over the Eagles.
Both teams stumbled out of the gates, with neither side cracking double figures. Tennessee State managed to take a 9-8 lead after an opening 10 minutes of play that saw the teams shoot a combined 6-34 from the floor and commit 12 turnovers.
Morehead State drew to within a single point on multiple occasions but was unable to claim the lead and Tennessee State was able to take a 26-22 halftime lead.
An 8-0 TSU run in the third would build a 12-point lead for the Tigers, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Veronica Charles and Sophie Baydanov cut the Tennessee State lead in half and also ended the 3-minute, 24-second Morehead State scoreless drought.
The Eagles again trimmed the lead to six points at 40-34 with 1:50 left in the quarter. However, a Saniah Parker 3-pointer and a jumper from Gia Adams, who scored 6 points in the quarter, pushed the Tennessee State lead to 45-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
Tennessee State was able to fend off Morehead in the game’s final stanza, never allowing the Eagles to get closer than 10 points in the victory.
Veronica Charles lead Morehead State in a losing effort with 17 points and Sophie Benharouga added 10 points.
Reigning OVC Newcomer of the Week Erica Haynes-Overton led two Tennessee State scorers in double figures with 15 points.
The Tigers will look to further cement a spot in the OVC Tournament when they host Southern Illinois Edwardsville Saturday.
Only the top 8 teams are eligible for the conference tournament and TSU, along with Morehead State finds themselves among a trio that sits at the eighth position with 5-9 conference records, respectively.