TSUSports.com: More free throws, more history for Kennerson as Lady Tigers defeat Jackson State


Staff member
HOUSTON – The Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University scored the first 12 points of the game Saturday and never looked back as they defeated Jackson State 71-66.

Joyce Kennerson scored a game-high 26 points and claimed another piece of TSU history, as she surpassed 1,400 career points and climbed to third on the school's all-time scoring list. She also handed out five assists to lead TSU to its 15th consecutive win over Jackson State.

TSU's Lady Tigers (13-9, 8-3 SWAC) seemed poised to put the game out of reach early after they went ahead 12-0 less than three minutes into the game. Taylor Robinson capped the run with a layup while getting fouled – and made the subsequent free throw – with 7:42 left in the opening quarter.

But before TSU could remove any doubt from the end result, Jackson State – the Southwestern Athletic Conference's highest-scoring offense and best rebounding team – regrouped and began to chip away at the deficit. By the end of the opening period, TSU held a 26-16 lead.

A change in pace to the game would help Jackson State, which by the fourth quarter had made it a two-possession game. The visiting Tigers (12-9, 7-5 SWAC) and their tall lineup was able to slow down TSU's transition game, which was further depleted due to the home team's 10-player roster Saturday.

As the game slowed and got more physical, the fouls started to accumulate, as the teams would combine to shoot 65 free throws. TSU made 27 of their 36 free throw attempts, which were both season highs; Kennerson went to the line 14 times, and made 13 of those attempts.

Robinson tied her TSU career highs in scoring and rebounds, putting in 15 points and grabbing six caroms. Chynna Ewing scored eight points off the TSU bench in her second game back from an injury.

Catherine Okwilage scored seven points and matched her career high with three blocks. Nycolle Smith scored three points and pulled in nine rebounds, while handing out a career-high three assists for TSU. Camille Mills led all players by pulling in 12 rebounds for the hometown Lady Tigers.

Marneisha Hamer scored 15 points and pulled eight rebounds to lead Jackson State.

• Kennerson pushed her career total to 1,405 points, which moved her past June Hardy, who scored 1,400 points during a four-year career that concluded in 1987.
• A junior from Port Arthur, Kennerson is less than 200 points away from surpassing Keena Williams for second on TSU's all-time scoring list. Williams scored 1,583 points during a four-year career that concluded in 1985.
• Surpassing Keena Williams would also give Kennerson a record of her own, as Williams' 1,583 is the top scoring mark in the Lady Tigers' NCAA era.
• TSU's all-time leading scorer, Nerissa Redo (2,221, 1977-81) played during the AIAW era of women's basketball; the NCAA women's basketball era began with the 1981-82 season.
• Kennerson's free throw trips and climbing the all-time scoring list helped negate the fact that Saturday's game lasted two hours and 16 minutes – the longest Lady Tigers game this season in terms of time elapsed.

The Lady Tigers host Grambling State on Monday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Courtesy: TSU Athletics