TSU Lady Tigers to host ‘Challenge in Music City’ tournament

By MIKE PATTON | Nashville Voice

This Friday, women’s basketball will be alive and well at downtown Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. The “Challenge in Music City” tournament kicks off Friday afternoon with teams from Stetson, Marist, Hofstra, Wright State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Arkansas.

Tennessee State’s Lady Tigers will be hosting and playing in this year’s event and, for the Lady Tigers, the tournament enables them to dance in the spotlight during the Thanksgiving weekend.

“We were approached to be the host school and with the caliber of competition, it seemed like a no-brainer being right here in our back door,” explained second-year TSU women’s basketball head coach Jessica Kern.

Coming off a 0-3 start this season, the Lady Tigers will face some stiff competition in this challenge, playing Arkansas, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh in consecutive nights; for Kern, though, this is a part of the process of growth for this team.

“Obviously being victorious is always the goal we want,” Kern said. “However, as long as we continue to grow as a team and as a staff, I am a firm believer that if you keep kicking on the door, it will open!

“Our breakthrough is right around the corner and what better way to do it then here at home!”

As far as the team’s the slow start, Kern said there is a bigger goal in mind.

“We all know this wasn’t the ideal start for our season,” she said. “However, we want quality production and want to go against quality opponents. Playing a fluff schedule will not prepare us for the postseason. Our ladies are encouraged and uplifted and ready for whomever the next opponent will be.”

Kern also complimented her staff. “My staff has done a wonderful job in preparing the young ladies and with a little bit of patience, we will be where we need to be sooner rather than later and more importantly, we are all healthy.”

And health is a key thing for the Lady Tigers, as they got Tia Wooten back recently from an undisclosed injury. The senior played in her first game this season against Troy and scored 16 points in the loss.

As Wooten continues to get back in the swing of things and this team continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how they continue to mold together.

This weekend, they continue that journey as the host team of the Challenge in Music City. Tickets are $20 per day of the challenge and tickets will be good for the entire day. They can be purchased either at the arena or through

There will be four games each day starting at 12 noon CST with the last game beginning at a scheduled time of 7:30 PM CST.

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