The Tennessee State men’s basketball team will continue its three-game home swing by hosting Eastern Kentucky on Thursday, Jan. 23. Game time for the Ohio Valley Conference clash is scheduled for 7 p.m.
TIGERS AT A GLANCE
Tennessee State is coming off of a, 79-65, loss to Belmont on Saturday dropping the Tigers to 2-19 overall and 1-6 in league play. TSU has lost its last five contests, but three of which have been on the road. The Tigers lead the OVC in three-point field goal percentage defense (.325).
TSU is averaging 67.9 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the field. Senior Patrick Miller has been the team’s top scorer all season long and is leading the OVC in points per game (22.1). M.J. Rhett has also been a top contributor, pouring in 10.5 points and securing 9.6 boards each outing.
The Tigers, led by second year head coach Travis Williams, returned five letter winners from last year’s 18-15 squad. However, the club lost four starters due to graduation last year, but the three big missing pieces are All-OVC second team members Robert Covington and Kellen Thornton as well as Jordan Cyphers. Last season, that trio of players averaged 43 points per contest which was 60 percent of the team’s scoring.
LAST TIME OUT
The Tennessee State men’s basketball team outscored Belmont by eight points in the second half, but still fell to the Bruins 79-65 on Saturday night in the Gentry Center.
Patrick Miller led the Tigers in scoring for the 19th time and poured in 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting. The senior also added seven rebounds and five assists.
M.J. Rhett and Kennedy Eubanks also scored in double figures for Tennessee State (2-19, 1-6 OVC) finishing with 13 and 10, respectively. The duo also had eight rebounds apiece.
SCOUTING EASTERN KENTUCKY
Eastern Kentucky (13-6, 4-2 OVC) enters Thursday’s matchup winners of three straight, including a 60-56 victory over Jacksonville State on Saturday.
Against the Gamecocks, Eric Stutz scored 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting and Glenn Cosey added 17.
Cosey has been the Colonels top scorer this year and is averaging 18.6 points per outing. Corey Walden is also one of EKU’s top contributors (13.3 ppg).
Eastern Kentucky leads the OVC in scoring defense (68.4 ppg), free throw percentage (.745), steals (9.7 spg), turnover margin (plus-7.1) and three pointers made per game (9.1).
Tennessee State will square off against Eastern Kentucky for the 52nd time, with the Colonels holding a 27-24 edge in the series. EKU has won three of the last five contests, and TSU’s two wins have come in overtime including last year’s 85-81 thriller in Nashville.
LAST TIME WE MET
It took overtime, but the Tennessee State men's basketball team hung on to defeat the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky, 85-81, on "Senior Day".
Senior Kellen Thornton led the way for TSU, scoring 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting and pulling in nine rebounds.
Fellow senior Robert Covington chipped in with 13 points and tied a career-high with 16 boards, helping TSU outrebound EKU, 42-29.
Updates on the game will be available throughout the game on the official twitter page via @TSU_Tigers. Live stats and video will also be available for the games. Links can be found on tsutigers.com under the schedule.
Tennessee State will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 25 against Morehead State at home. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center.