Lady Tigers defeat UTM, win third straight at home
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Nashville --- The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team won its third straight home contest Saturday night with a 51-38 victory over UT Martin in the Gentry Center.

The Lady Tigers improve to 6-9 (3-3 OVC) while the Skyhawks fall to 2-12 (0-5 OVC).

Seniors Oby Okafor and Nikki Rumph, along with freshman Jasmin Shuler each scored 12 points for TSU. Okafor added 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.

Darnisha Lyles, the only player to post double-digits, led UTM with 13 points and nine rebounds.

After jumping out to an early 11-2 lead in the first half, the Tennessee State offense slowed down. UT Martin took advantage and came to within five after Cali Cupplies knocked down a three-pointer.

TSU increased its lead to 18-8 following an old fashioned 3-point play from Jasmin Shuler but UTM once again closed the gap, 25-20.

Simone Hopes connected with Oby Okafor in the paint to give TSU a 27-20 lead going into the halftime break.

In the second frame, after going for nearly four minutes without a bucket, a break-away lay-up from Nikki Rumph sparked a 6-0 run that made TSU’s lead 33-22.

With 12:57 on the clock, Simone Hopes scored to give TSU a 38-26 lead but UTM posted back-to-back buckets to cut the lead down to 38-30.

The Lady Tigers, however, answered with a 9-2 run to go up 47-32 with 3:37 left and held on to the lead for the rest of the game.

UT Martin out-rebounded Tennessee State, 39-31, but recorded 27 turnovers compared to TSU’s 12.  TSU also held the advantage in assists, 13-5, steals, 13-6, and blocks, 6-3. The Lady Tigers shot 37 percent from the field, including 18.2 percent from three-point range while only knocking down 56.3 percent of their free-throws.

The Skyhawks shot 34.1 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from beyond the arc and 50.0 percent from the charity stripe.

Tennessee State will return to action next week with an OVC match-up at Austin Peay on Thursday, Jan. 14. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at the Dunn Center.