Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team fell to Belmont, 78-66, on Saturday night at the Curb Event Center.
The loss drops TSU's record to 12-8 overall and 6-1 in conference. The defeat also snapped the Tigers' seven-game winning streak.
Jordan Cyphers had a career-high 23 points for TSU on 7-of-12 shooting. The senior also canned a season-high seven three pointers.
Kellen Thornton was the other Tiger that scored in double-figures (16) and he also collected his fourth double-double of the season by securing 11 boards.
Junior Patrick Miller was just two points shy of a triple double as the guard from Chicago tallied career highs in rebounds (10) and assists (12).
Belmont (15-4, 6-0 OVC) won the tip and promptly scored on its opening possession. Rhett answered with a hoop at the 18:38 mark, but that would be TSU's last field goal for nearly ten minutes.
During TSU's cold spell, Belmont went on a 19-1 run that was ignited by seven points from the Bruins' Ian Clark.
Rhett finally ended the draught by nailing a jumper with less than nine minutes left in the half, but Belmont would eventually extend its lead to 22 when Clark buried his second three of the half.
TSU didn't stop fighting, and ended the half on a 15-8 run thanks in large part to Jordan Cyphers who poured in three triples during the stretch. The run allowed TSU to trim the Bruin lead to 33-22 before going into the locker room
Cyphers finished the first half with a team-high 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting. His offensive game was a bright spot for a TSU club that made seven of its 28 shots during the opening stanza (25 percent).
TSU had nine turnovers in the first period, leading to 16 Belmont points.
It was a different story for TSU to start the second half, as the Tigers made their first five shots after the break including two threes. Thornton hit TSU's second at the 16:28 mark, making the score 39-34 in favor of the home team.
Belmont called timeout to re-group, and the Bruins responded by going on a 21-11 run that featured five triples. The swing made the score 60-45 in favor of Belmont.
TSU chipped away at the lead with dunks by both Rhett and Thornton and Thornton hit a bank-shot three at the 1:58 mark to make the score 72-64.
The Tigers' highlight-reel plays were not enough to make an impact on the outcome of the game, and TSU fell to Belmont, 78-66.
TSU had a higher shooting percentage (44.1) than Belmont (43.5), and beat the Bruins on the boards, 41-32. However, the Tigers had 16 turnovers compared to just seven for Belmont.
Tennessee State will try to get back to winning ways on Thursday when the squad travels to Eastern Kentucky. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the contest can be seen on the OVC Digital Network.
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