Nashville, Tenn. - The OVC East Division-leading Tennessee State men's basketball will look to extend its three-game winning streak when the squad travels to Jacksonville State on Jan. 5.
The Tigers are coming off a 72-66 victory over rival Tennessee Tech on Thursday night, a victory that put TSU 2-0 in conference play. Big Blue now leads the rest of the division by one-half games.
TSU got great production from a handful of players against the Golden Eagles, including a career night by forward M.J. Rhett. Rhett set highs in points (15), rebounds (11), blocks (four), attempts (11) and buckets (seven), which helped the Tigers to a 38-32 rebounding advantage.
Senior Kellen Thornton also had 10 boards in the win, and TSU is now averaging 1.6 rebounds more than its opponents. That mark is second-best in the conference.
Another player that was instrumental in the win over TTU was Patrick Miller who had a team-high 21 points. During TSU's three-game run, Miller is averaging 20.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. The junior is also shooting 53 percent (16-of-30) from the field and 61.5 (8-of-13) percent from three-point land.
TSU will need its key contributors to produce against a Jacksonville State team that enters Saturday's game with a 10-4 overall record and a 2-1 OVC mark.
The Gamecocks have four players who average in double-figures in points in Darion Rackley (13.6), Tarvin Gaines (12.8), Brian Williams (11.5) and Ronnie Boggs (10.8). Boggs is also the team leader in rebounds with 82.
JSU just lost to Belmont on Thursday night, but the Gamecocks still lead the OVC in scoring defense, only allowing opponents to score an average of 60.2 points per contest. JSU is also first in three-point percentage defense (25 percent) and second in turnover margin (+2.79).
Tennessee State is 10-8 all-time versus Jacksonville State and won the team's last meeting 69-64 in overtime. However, JSU won the squads last meeting in Jacksonville, 65-72.
TSU will try to win its third road game of the season on Saturday against JSU. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on the OVC Digital Network.