NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It took overtime, but the Tennessee State men’s basketball team dropped its 21st game of the season, 80-74, at home versus Morehead State.
Patrick Miller scored a game-high 36 points and made 12 of his 24 attempts for his sixth straight 20-plus performance dating back to Jan. 7 and his second straight 30-point game.
Chaed Wellian was the only other Tiger in double-figures, finishing with a career-high 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting.
TSU (2-21, 1-8 OVC) started 3-of-3 from the field and held an early, 8-4, lead with four minutes gone off of the clock. Rhett opened the game with an old-fashioned three-point play and Harris added a three from deep.
The Tigers missed their next three shots, allowing Morehead State (14-8, 5-2 OVC) to go on a 9-0 run to make the score 13-8. Wellian finally ended the drought with a triple at the 13:38 mark.
The sides played it close for the next eight minutes and the game was tied at 23 apiece with 5:04 to go in the first period. MSU then scored eight straight by virtue of three TSU misses and one turnover.
Morehead State hit a three for the final basket in the half and headed into the locker room with a 34-27 advantage.
Both teams shot 43 percent during the fist stanza, but the Tigers had 10 turnovers, leading to 12 Eagle points.
The Tigers cut the lead down to four at 39-35 when Alex Bates poured in a layup at the 15:17 mark. The points were Bates’s sixth of the game, setting a new career high.
TSU later took the lead with an 11-0 run that spanned 4:06. Miller drove into the lane and finished with his left hand in traffic to put the Tigers ahead, and Jaleel Queary capped the stretch with another basket from in close. The spurt put the Tigers ahead, 49-46, with just over eight minutes to go.
The Eagles re-took the lead at the 5:50 mark by hitting a pair of freebies, but the game remained tight and Wellian canned another three to put the Tigers down by just one with 88 seconds remaining.
MSU made a three-point play on its next possession, and then added two free throws, but Miller sunk back-to-back triples to tie the game at 65 with just 19.6 left on the clock.
The Eagles’ chance at a game-winning shot clanked off the rim, forcing an extra five-minute period.
TSU made just one field goal in overtime and Morehead State was a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe, letting the Eagles walk away with an 80-74 victory.
Tennessee State will try to rebound and record its first road win of the season on Jan. 30 at Tennessee Tech. Game time for that contest is slated for 7 p.m.