NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After putting forth its best offensive effort of the season on Tuesday, Tennessee State hopes to continue the trend and win its first game of the year Saturday at USC Upstate.
TSU (0-7) got off to a slow start to begin the season averaging just 54.0 points per contest in the first three games of the season. In the four games since the Tigers offense has come to life, scoring at a clip of 70.3 points per game.
During the four game span senior guard Patrick Miller has led the charge for Big Blue averaging 22.0 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds during the stretch. Miller is also shooting 45 percent from the field.
In the past two games Miller and the Tigers were matched up with SEC foes: Tennessee and Auburn and the Chicago native come up big on the grandest stage, scoring 20 and 17 points respectively. Miller took only 10 shots in both contests for an average of 1.85 points per field goal attempt.
The biggest story coming out of the Auburn game on Tuesday night was the emergence of two new scoring options for coach Travis Williams’ team.
Senior guard Jacquan Nobles had yet to score a point for Big Blue this season coming into Tuesday’s match-up, but that didn’t matter against Auburn as he torched the defense for a career high 22 points on 6-for-9 shooting from 3-point range. The 22 point outburst was Nobles first 20 point game since Feb. 6, 2010 at UT Martin. Nobles’ six 3pointers also marked a career high for the Greenville, N.C. native.
On the inside, junior Kennedy Eubanks emerged against Auburn posting career highs in points (17), rebounds (9) and field goals made (6).
Saturday, Williams and the Tigers will hope to pick up their first win of the season on the road over USC-Upstate. The Spartans come into Saturday’s match-up with a 4-3 record, with a road win over the ACC’s Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Spartanburg, S.C. group boasts four starters averaging more than nine points a game. Senior post players Torrey Criag (18.7 ppg), Ricardo Glenn (11.0) and Jodd Maxey (9.1) lead the Spartans offensive attack in the paint. Criag can also dial it up from distance shooting 37.8 percent from 3-point range.
As a team USC Upstate is averaging 39.0 rebounds per contest to outrebound opponents by 4.9 boards a game.
Junior Ty Greene leads the offense from the point guard position averaging 17.1 points and 3.4 assists per game. The Knoxville, Tenn. boasts an impressive 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The two teams met a year ago in Nashville, Tenn. on Dec. 21 with the Tigers coming out on top, 67-64. Former TSU guard Jordan Cyphers posted a game high 22 points for Big Blue that day in the three point win.
Tip-off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m. central time, with the game broadcast live on ESPN3.