Thursday, December 22, 2016

TSU Lady Tigers end 2016 on high note with 70-62 win at FIU

MIAMI, Florida – The Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University went into their Christmas break on a high note Wednesday after defeating Florida International 70-62.

Sophomore post Artavia Ford recorded her second double-double of the season, scoring 25 points and pulling in 10 rebounds to lead Texas Southern (6-5), which ended a three-game losing skid. Ford shot 10-of-17 from the field.

The Lady Tigers scored seven unanswered points late in the fourth quarter to break a 56-56 tie and pull away from their hosts. TSU had led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but saw a nine-point lead evaporate late in the third quarter.

Joyce Kennerson tallied 17 points, five assists and two steals for the Lady Tigers, who concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule with the win. TSU returns to action Jan. 2 when they visit Alcorn State to open Southwestern Athletic Conference play.

Kristian Hudson scored 18 points to lead FIU (1-8). Kiandre'a Pound chipped in 12 points for the Panthers.

Texas Southern seized control of the game early with an 11-2 run between the 8:04 and 1:48 marks of the first quarter to take a 17-7 lead. Kennerson scored the last six points of the run, while FIU collectively shot 1-of-7 and committed four turnovers during that span.

FIU cut into TSU's lead in the latter stages of the second period with a 7-2 run that cut the visitors' advantage to 32-28 with less than a minute remaining before halftime. A 3-pointer by Makenna Pouengue with 34 seconds left in the period gave the Lady Tigers a 35-28 halftime lead.

The Panthers completely erased TSU's lead with nine unanswered points between the 6:54 and 3:51 marks of the third quarter, as Amari Hawkins' fast-break layup tied the game at 42. In all, FIU would outscore Texas Southern 18-7 over the final seven minutes of the quarter, with TSU's Breasia McElrath cutting the deficit to 51-49 with 14 seconds remaining in the period.

After the teams exchanged baskets over the first portion of the final quarter, Ford helped the Lady Panthers pull away with seven unanswered points between the 5:27 and 2:17 marks of the period. Ford knocked down two jump shots and all three free throws she took; the run ended with a layup off a Kennerson assist while getting fouled.

As FIU was forced to foul as time wound down, Kennerson scored six of the team's final seven points.

• Texas Southern improved to 2-4 all-time against FIU, and claimed their first-ever win over the Panthers in Miami; the Lady Tigers' only other win over FIU took place in Houston in 1987.
• The game marked the first time the teams had met since the 1992-93 season.
• Head coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry improved to 6-4 against Conference USA opponents in her coaching career.
• The Lady Tigers improved to 2-1 against Conference USA opponents this season; TSU opened the season with an 89-68 win at UTEP.
• Kaitlyn Palmer scored eight points for Texas Southern, while McElrath added seven points and seven rebounds.
• TSU's Chynna Ewing handed out five assists to go along with four points.



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