BROOKINGS, S.D. - A Tennessee State second half rally fell just short as the Tigers lost to South Dakota State 78-71 in men's basketball action Tuesday night.
Despite being down by as many as 17 points in the first half, TSU (0-2) cut the SDSU (1-1) lead down to four in the final minute.
The Jacks led 13-7 in the first seven minutes before going on a 10-0 run over the next 2:12. SDSU point guard Nate Wolters assisted on the first eight points of the run. The Summit League preseason player of the year finished with 22 points, six rebounds and nine assists.
TSU struggled from the field in the first half as they shot just 33 percent, while SDSU shot 59 percent.
The Tigers would get some fantastic play for their point guard as well, as
Patrick Miller, along with Robert Covington, cut the SDSU lead down to single digits with a 12-6 spurt in the first four minutes of the second half. Eight of the points came from Covington, while Miller added three assists.
Miller had a career-high in assists for the second game in a row. After a nine assist game Friday night at BYU, the junior from Chicago had 10 dimes on Tuesday to go along with 12 points and six rebounds.
Tennessee State would pull to within three at 57-54 with 6:58 remaining, off of a Miller steal that led to a Covington dunk. It was the culmination of a 7-0 TSU run that spanned only 1:30.
The Tigers would not cut the lead to one possession again.
Covington had a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. It is the 22nd career double-double for the senior.
SDSU responded with a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to regain a double-digit edge. But TSU kept fighting as a Tashan Fredrick three pulled the Tigers to within four at 75-71 with 22 seconds left.
TSU played much better defensively in the second half, limiting SDSU to only 10 made field goals. The Tigers also won the turnover battle 16-11. Despite being outshot 48 percent to 37 percent, TSU made three more shots and had 23 more attempts than SDSU.
Tennessee State takes on the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday at Williams Arena. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST and can be seen on ESPN3.
The Tigers shot 9-for-25 from three point range, the most made threes since Jan. 11th, 2012 vs. Morehead State, a span of 17 games ... The 70 field goal attempts for the Tigers are the most since Nov. 22 of last season at North Carolina ... South Dakota State has now won 18 straight games at Frost Arena ... It was the first time in the past 14 SDSU home games that an opponent was not defeated by double digits ... Attendance was 3,193
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