Road struggles continue in overtime loss to Jacksonville State
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jacksonville, Ala. --- Despite overcoming a 15-point first half deficit, the Tennessee State University women's basketball team could not end its road skid in an 82-75 overtime loss to Jacksonville State Tuesday night at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

Tennessee State (6-11, 3-5 OVC) shot a season-best 84.6 percent from the free-throw line while shooting 37.2 percent from the field.  Jacksonville State (6-12, 3-5 OVC) shot 37.8 percent from the field and 62.9 percent from the charity stripe.

Meredith Stafford led TSU with a career-high 19 points while Oby Okafor added 18. Jasmin Shuler rounded out the Lady Tiger top scorers with 17.

Jacksonville State was led in scoring by Brittany Wiley with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Danielle Vaughn also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 boards. Destiny Lane added 12 points and Zenobia Pitts posted 10.  

Jacksonville State's aggressiveness on the offensive glass coupled with missed opportunities by Tennessee State led to the Gamecocks jumping out to an 11-4 lead before the first media timeout.  JSU nailed a three-pointer to increase its lead to 14-4 before Oby Okafor made two free-throws to cut the Gamecock advantage down to single digits.

TSU didn't score for the next six minutes of play, allowing JSU to extend its cushion to 21-6 with 13:14 left in the half. A jumper by Nikki Rumph finally ended the Lady Tiger scoring drought and sparked a 13-2 run that cut the deficit down to 23-19.

The Gamecocks carried a 32-25 lead into the locker room.

JSU outscored TSU 8-2 in the opening three minutes of the game to move ahead 40-27. TSU finally got its offense going following three consecutive buckets by Oby Okafor.

With 11:25 on the clock TSU climbed within three, 50-47, behind three triples from Jasmin Shuler. The Lady Tigers captured their first lead of the game, 57-56, on a lay-up from Simone Hopes with 6:39 left to play but three minutes later the Gamecocks knotted the contest 61-61. From there both teams traded buckets.

With 1.0 seconds left and the game tied 65-65, Jacksonville State's attempt fell short and the game went into overtime.

In the extra period, JSU opened with a 3-pointer to go ahead 68-65. After an empty possession by TSU,   Oby Okafor picked up her fifth foul of the game, sending her to the bench with 4:15 left. JSU scored five straight points to take a 72-67 lead before TSU managed to score its first bucket of overtime (1:29).

TSU came to within three points a couple of times within the final minute but JSU knocked down timely free-throws to seal the win.   

JSU out-rebounded TSU and also held the advantage in assists, 15-9, and steals, 10-4.

The Lady Tigers return to action on Saturday when they travel to Cookeville, Tenn. to face the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Eblen Center.