NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team fell to 3-23 with a, 73-65, loss to Murray State on Saturday night in the Gentry Center.
Patrick Miller led the Tigers in points for the 24th time this season, scoring 26 on 9-of-16 shooting (56 percent). The senior also added five boards.
M.J. Rhett had his second-consecutive double-double and 12th this season with 10 points and 10 boards.
Kennedy Eubanks also had a solid game, netting 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
The Tigers were cold from the field to begin the game, hitting one of their first seven shots (14 percent). The slow start allowed Murray State to race out to an 11-4 lead through the opening six minutes.
TSU finally found its stroke and got within three at 16-13 when Miller converted a layup at the 10:48 mark. However, Murray’s Cameron Payne countered with a pair of triples to pad his team’s cushion.
The Racers raised their lead by as many as 13 during the first half, but a 6-2 Tiger run to close out the period made the score 37-28 in favor of the visitors.
Miller had half of TSU's points during the first 20 minutes, but MSU outshot TSU, 47 to 37 percent.
M.J. Rhett started the second half with a strong, two-handed dunk that was assisted by Miller, but Jonathan Fairell answered with a slam of his own on the other end.
The Tigers could not gain any ground on the Racers through the first half of the second period, and did not record consecutive buckets until Rhett poured in a layup at the 6:28 mark.
A long two-pointer by Jordan Gaither got TSU back within five with 4:38 to go, but four straight from Murray State put the visitors in control for good.
Tennessee State will travel to Belmont on Feb. 13 for a nationally televised matchup with the Bruins. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.