Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team looks to get back to its winning ways on Thursday when the squad travels to Eastern Kentucky for an OVC East Divisional matchup.
Big Blue is coming off of its first loss since Dec. 18, as the team fell, 78-66, to Belmont on Saturday night at the Curb Event Center.
Kellen Thornton notched his fourth double-double of the season and his second in TSU's last three games with 16 points and 11 boards.
Thornton has scored in double figures in nine of the Tigers' past 10 contests, and has more rebounds (74) than any other OVC player during conference games.
Junior Patrick Miller was just two points shy of TSU's first triple double in at least ten years, as the guard from Chicago tallied career highs in rebounds (10) and assists (12).
Miller currently leads the OVC in assists per game with 5.5 and his 1.7 steal per game average ranks him second. The guard is also second in the conference in minutes played this season with 691.
The Tigers racked up nine blocks against the Bruins which is the most for TSU since Jan. 29, 2008 when the team defeated Jacksonville State, 88-77. TSU's 4.5 rejections per contest trail only Austin Peay (5.3) on the conference's leader board.
The defeat at the hands of Belmont dropped the Tigers from first place in the OVC East Division to second with a 6-1 conference record. TSU will need to defeat Eastern Kentucky if it wants to stay in second place as the Colonels enter Thursday's contest with a 5-1 league mark.
This season, EKU has been led by Mike DiNunno and Glenn Cosey who average 15.5 and 15 points per game, respectively. The numbers place the duo inside the top 10 on the conference points per game leaders.
The squad has also gotten solid production from sophomore guard Corey Walden who is coming off of a 28-point and four assist performance against Jacksonville State on Saturday. Walden's solid outing earned him OVC Newcomer of the Week.
The trio of DiNunno, Cosey and Walden has also helped the Colonels to a 10-0 home mark this year, as well as a conference-leading +5.6 turnover margin.
TSU is 23-26 all-time against EKU and the sides split last season's games. The Tigers got the better of the Colonels last time they played, besting them, 91-85, in double overtime on Jan. 28.
Tennessee State's contest against Eastern Kentucky will be the team's first road game since Jan. 5. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 24 and the matchup will be broadcasted on the OVC Digital Network.