Nashville, Tenn. - After a loss to Missouri snapped their three-game win-streak, the Tennessee State Tigers will look to rebound with a win against Lemoyne-Owen at home on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m.
TSU was outrebounded at Missouri by 25 boards, but the rebounding has not been a problem for the Tigers prior to that. The squad ranks third in the OVC with 134 offensive rebounds (13.4 per game) and its 72.1 percent defensive rebound percentage puts the team second in the conference.
Adding to the team's stout interior defense has been Tennessee State's uncanny ability to block shots. Big Blue has blocked 21 shot attempts during the last four contests, raising the team to third place in the conference with 4.3 blocks per game. TSU currently has three players who rank in the top ten of the OVC's individual swat list in M.J. Rhett (1.1 per game), Michael Green (1.0 per game) and Robert Covington (0.9 per game).
"We have been focusing a lot on helping out and team defense," head coach Travis Williams said. "We have athletic guys that are more than able to go up and block a shot."
The Tigers will need to continue to play strong defensively as the Magicians have four players who average in double-figures, and Edwin Shorter is just 0.2 points per game shy of giving the team five.
"The coaching staff challenges each player and stresses to them that they have a job to do. Each guy on the team must do their part, contest every shot and make the opponent uncomfortable," Williams said.
Another key for TSU will be hanging on to the basketball. Tennessee State currently averages 15.5 turnovers per game, but the Magicians force 19 per game and lead the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a +5.5 turnover margin.
"After seeing the practice that we have had this week, I think that we will do a good job of valuing the ball and playing smart," Williams said.
Faith and Family night tips off at 4 p.m. and fans can get a ticket half off by bringing a church bulletin. For those that can't attend, the game will be streamed on the OVC Digital Network.
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