Strong start leads to Lady Tiger win over Austin Peay
Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nashville --- Junior Meredith Stafford posted a career-high 25 points to help lift the Tennessee State University women's basketball team past Austin Peay, 68-57, Saturday night in the Gentry Center.

Tennessee State (9-14, 6-8 OVC) shot an impressive 45.5 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from beyond the arc while Austin Peay (9-16, 8-6 OVC) shot 26.4 percent from the field and a dismal 16.7 percent from three-point range.

Meredith Stafford led TSU in scoring with a career-high 25 points to go along with seven rebounds. Oby Okafor chipped in 14 points while LaDona Pierce dished out a season-best 11 assists.

Ashley Herring had a team best 14 points for APSU while Brooke Faulkner and Nicole Jamen each added 10.

The first four minutes of the game were scoreless until consecutive buckets gave Austin Peay a 4-0 lead at the 15:02 mark. Eight unanswered points, however, gave TSU an 8-4 lead and the Lady Tigers would never trail again.

With TSU leading 20-16, a jumper by Destiney Gaston sparked a 16-0 run that lasted for about six minutes and increased the Lady Tiger advantage to 32-16. Whitney Hanley knocked down a jumper just before the half ended to make the score 32-18.

A steal and break-away lay-up from Nikki Rumph christened the second half and put TSU back up by 16. Later in the half, the Lady Tigers grabbed their largest lead of the contest, 52-30, when Jasmin Shuler nailed her second three-pointer of the game.

Austin Peay made a run and cut the deficit down to single digits, 56-47, with 6:47 remaining but TSU built the lead back up to 15 before going on to win 68-57.

Tennessee State lost the battle of the boards 38-35 but held the advantage in assists, 15-7, and steals, 10-6. TSU also had 24 points in the paint compared to APSU's 10.

The Lady Tigers will return to action on Monday when they host the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech in the Gentry Center. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m.