A pair of layups from Robyn Anthony put the Lady Cougars on top 8-6 early in the game, but from that point the Lady Tigers were just too tough, taking the lead on two straight shots from downtown by Khamiyah Crawford. They would never trail again.
The inside/outside combination of Crawford and Stevonna Scott proved to be a lethal one, with Scott pouring in 13 points from the paint while Crawford continued to let fly from behind the arc.
Three buckets in the paint by Carley Fetzer sliced the Chattanooga State lead to four points late in the first half, but Sierra Sales countered with a pair of shots in the lane to help the Lady Tigers to a 32-25 halftime advantage.
Crawford picked up where she left off to start the second half with two more treys as the Lady Tiger lead grew to double digits. A pair of buckets and two more free tosses from Sales pushed the Chattanooga State lead to 16 points at the eight-minute mark.
The Lady Cougars slowly whittled away at the lead. An 8-2 run cut it back to single digits at the five-minute mark. Two straight buckets in the lane by Mercedes Owens cut the lead to six and a long three-point bomb by Chelsea Jones made it a three-point game with 45 seconds to play. Jara Gasper nailed a 3 seconds later slicing the lead to only two points. But the Lady Tiger defense stopped the rally with two great defensive stands and hit three of their final five free throws to seal the hard-earned win.
The Lady Cougars finish the season with an 18-10 record while the Lady Tigers will move into the semifinals round Friday and a date with top-seeded and seventh-ranked Walters State. Cleveland State shot just 30 percent for the game compared to 40 percent for the Lady Tigers.
Anthony paced the Lady Cougars with 16 points and Me’Lisa Martez added nine, while Davis, Gasper and Fetzer all finished with seven points. Scott paved the way for Chattanooga State with 21 points, Crawford added 19 and Sales finished with 12.