Atlanta, Ga. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team notched its first win of the season with a 68-57 victory over the Jaguars of South Alabama.
Junior guard Patrick Miller led the Tigers in points, assists and steals with 14, eight and four, respectively.
Miller also had five of TSU's 46 rebounds. The Tigers had 15 more rebounds than their opponents.
TSU won the tip and within three seconds Covington had his first points of the game. The bucket set the tone early for the Tigers, as they started the game on a 13-2 run.
During the run, guards Jay Harris and Patrick Miller combined for 11 of the team's points. Harris was 3-3 in the stretch with a three-pointer.
South Alabama's Mychal Ammons got the Jaguars within six at 16-10 with a strong drive in the lane. The layup was just two of his half-high nine points during the period.
The Tigers kept a large cushion through the next seven minutes, and eventually went up by nine when a missed three by Jordan Cyphers was tip-slammed home by Michael Green.
A layup from Kellen Thornton with 2:30 left in the first period gave the Tigers a 13-point lead- their biggest of the half.
Another layup from Thornton made the score 36-24 in favor of TSU heading into the break.
TSU shot 45 percent from the floor during the first half which was nearly 15 points higher than its season average.
USA came out strong to start the second period and went on an 11-2 run to cut the TSU lead to three. The Tigers were 0-6 from the field during the run.
With the lead down to just a couple, the Tigers came roaring back with a 13-4 run that was sparked by a pair of buckets from Robert Covington.
Covington finished the game with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
After a bucket by South Alabama made the score 51-43, the TSU defense held pat and didn't allow the Jaguars to make a field goal for the next nine minutes.
During those nine minutes, DeShawn Dockery drained a three and Miller assisted Rhett on an alley-oop. Those scores, plus a handful of others, allowed TSU to extend its lead to as many as 21 with just minutes to go in the game.
USA ended the game on a 10-0 run, but it wasn't nearly enough, as TSU walked away with an eleven-point victory.
The Tigers will turn right around and play Georgia State tomorrow at 7 p.m. TSU then wraps up the week with a game against Monmouth on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
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