NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a game in which 58 fouls were called, Tennessee State fell to Lipscomb University, 75-70, on Monday night.
TSU (0-5) was 20-of-28 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe while the Bisons (2-2) were 37-for-50 (74 percent).
Patrick Miller led the Tigers with 28 points and added three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
M.J. Rhett had a team-high nine rebounds and chipped in six points.
Miller kept TSU in the game early, scoring 11 of TSU’s first 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting during the game’s first 12 minutes. The rest of the Tigers were 1-for-15 during that span.
Still, Tennessee State remained just one point down, as the Bisons helped the Tiger cause by committing eight turnovers through the first quarter of the game.
Lipscomb was finally able to take care of the ball and rattled off a 6-0 run to take the lead at 21-14 with seven minutes to go. TSU was 0-for-6 during the four-minute stretch.
The Tigers answered with a 9-2 advantage that was highlighted by a pair of buckets from Kennedy Eubanks, including a three, to tie the score at 23.
The sides went back and forth for the last four minutes of the half, but Miller gave the Tigers a one-point lead, 30-29, heading into the break with a layup at the 47 second mark.
Miller did his part with 13 first half points, but another key contributor for TSU was true freshman Ugo Mmonu who poured in seven on 3-of-5 (60 percent) shooting while only playing five minutes.
The Bisons were able to hang around in the first period by shooting 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) from the line. TSU was only 1-for-3.
The game remained tight through the first eight minutes of the second stanza, with neither team going up by more than one score.
Lipscomb eventually went up, 50-40, when the Bisons went on a 14-3 run and the Tigers went eight minutes without a field goal.
Jordan Gaither ended the TSU drought with a jumper at the 7:44 mark to pull the Tigers within five at 53-48.
The Bisons’s J.C. Hampton put his team up by nine with a layup with just under five minutes to go, and that ended up being his team’s last made field goal of the game.
Lipscomb made 13 free throws down the stretch and TSU could not muster enough offense to counter balance the shots from the charity stripe.
The Tigers would come as close as three points, but ran out of time, as they fell, 75-70.
Tennessee State forced a season-high 21 turnovers, but shot just 34 percent from the field (22-of-65).
With the loss, the Tigers drop to 0-5 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
The Tigers will hit the road once again when the team travels to Knoxville for a contest with the University of Tennessee on Friday. Tipoff for that game is slated for 6 p.m.