Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak with an 84-65 win over Tennessee Tech on Thursday night.
The win improved the Tigers' home record to 9-0- their best start since going 10-0 during the 1992-93 season.
Five players scored in double-figures for TSU (13-10, 7-3 OVC) for the second time this season including Patrick Miller (17), Robert Covington (17), Kellen Thornton (17), M.J. Rhett (13) and Jordan Cyphers (10).
Thornton also recorded his seventh double-double of the season with a team-high 10 boards.
TSU forced a season-high 24 turnovers, which led to 32 points off of TTU (8-13, 2-7 OVC) miscues- the most by the Tigers this year.
The Tigers came out white hot to start the game, draining five of their first six shots including a jam by Rhett.
Rhett finished the contest with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks and a pair of steals.
At the 16:15 mark of the first half, Covington entered the game for the first time since injuring his right knee on Dec. 18. He immediately made his first shot on TSU's very next possession to make the score 10-7 in favor of the home team.
Covington's jumper ignited a 16-0 Tiger run that eventually put TSU up 24-7 with 9:45 left in the first half. Strong defense fueled the stretch as TSU forced five turnovers, recorded two blocks and held the Golden Eagles to 0-of-8 shooting.
TTU was able to trim TSU's advantage to 16 before Covington ended the half with an emphatic two-handed throw down with just seconds remaining. His flush made the score 41-23 at the half.
Covington ended the game with 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting, three rebounds and three steals.
TSU led by as many as 21 in the first period thanks to 14 TTU turnovers and by shooting 26.1 percent better from the field (48.3 to 22.2).
TTU cut the lead down to 13 during the first five minutes of the second period, but a three pointer by Covington made the score 51-35. The basket by Covington gave him his 1,579th career point, moving him past Bruce Price for tenth place on the school's all-time scoring list.
Back-to-back slam dunks by Rhett put the Tigers up by 17 with ten minutes to go in the game. The first was assisted by Deshawn Dockery while the second was set up by Miller
Miller ended up with 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting, three boards and a team-high four assists.
The teams traded blows for the better part of the half, but TSU would stifle any Tennessee Tech run with hoop of its own or a key steal. TSU finished the game with 12 swipes.
The Tigers finished the game on a 9-3 run that ended with a free throw by Thornton. The freebie made the score 84-65 where it remained until the end of the contest.
TSU had a season-high 24 fouls, but TTU also had 24. The slow-pace of play contributed to 64 combined free throw attempts.
Tennessee State will have a week off before traveling to Austin Peay on Feb. 7. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the matchup can be seen on the OVC Digital Network.