The Tennessee State men’s basketball team will head down the street to square off against the Belmont Bruins for an Ohio Valley Conference tilt. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
TIGERS AT A GLANCE
Tennessee State is coming off of a, 73-65, loss to Murray State on Saturday dropping the Tigers to 3-23 overall and 2-10 in league play.
TSU is averaging 68.8 points per game while shooting 42.1 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 (23.2). M.J. Rhett has also been a top contributor, pouring in 10.7 points and securing 8.9 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 fell to 3-23 with a, 73-65, loss to Murray State on Saturday night in the Gentry Center.
Miller led the Tigers in points for the 24th time this season, scoring 26 on 9-of-16 shooting (56 percent). The senior also added five boards.
Rhett had his second-consecutive double-double and 12th this season with 10 points and 10 boards.
Kennedy Eubanks also had a solid game, netting 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
The Bruins come into Thursday’s matchup riding high off of a, 93-68, win at home against Austin Peay.
J.J. Mann led the way with 28 points. Reece Chamberlain added 13 points, a career-high seven rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists, while Evan Bradds scored 12 points and five rebounds.
Mann has been Belmont’s top scorer so far this season, and his 17.9 ppg average rank the Smyrna, Ga. Native fifth in the OVC.
The Bruins are the league’s best shooting team, making their shots at a .499 clip, but lack a strong inside defensive presence as they have blocked just 64 shots in 27 games.
Tennessee State will square off against Belmont for the 21st time, with the Bruins holding a 12-8 edge in the series.
LAST TIME WE MET
TSU outscored Belmont by eight points in the second half, but still fell to the Bruins 79-65 in the Gentry Center on Jan. 18.
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.
Rhett and Eubanks also scored in double figures for Tennessee State finishing with 13 and 10, respectively. The duo also had eight rebounds apiece.
TSU outrebounded Belmont 35 to 29, but 15 Tiger turnovers led to 24 Bruin points.
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 Thursday, Feb. 20 against SIUE at home for Senior Night. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. in the Gentry Center.