Richmond, Ky. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team lost its second consecutive game on Thursday night at Eastern Kentucky. TSU fell behind in the first half and eventually lost to the Colonels 76-67.
Patrick Miller had 20 points for the Tigers on 6-of-14 shooting and shot 4-of-8 from deep. It was Miller's fourth 20-plus point game of the season.
Jordan Cyphers poured in 15 points for Tennessee State (12-9, 6-2 OVC) thanks to a 10-for-11 line from the charity stripe. His 10 freebies set a new season-high.
Jay Harris got the Tigers started with a triple at the 18:10 mark, but the Colonels responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead.
Thornton was able to end the run with a jumper, but TSU was unable to build off the bucket. The Tigers never scored back-to-back field goals in the first half and shot just 30 percent (6-of-20).
The Tigers did draw 10 fouls during the first 20 minutes, allowing the Tigers score 10 of their 24 first half points at the line.
Thornton finished the game with six points and added five boards and a season-high six steals.
Eastern Kentucky (16-4, 6-1 OVC) was able to pad its lead by shooting 66 percent (16-of-24) during the opening frame and 60 percent (6-of-10) from downtown. The offensive flurry allowed the Colonels to take a 15-point lead into halftime.
EKU's Corey Walden (12) and Mike DiNunno (13) accounted for 25 of the Colonels' 39 first half points.
TSU had problems handling the ball during the opening frame, leading to 11 turnovers and 10 EKU points.
The Tigers came out of halftime on fire, drilling the first seven points of the half to make the score 39-33 in favor of the home team.
TSU would pull within four later in the period when Cyphers nailed a jumper at the 10:50. The bucket was the senior's second consecutive basket and made the score 49-45.
From there, EKU used a pair of triples to score eight straight over the course of two minutes.
The Colonels raised their lead to 17 when TSU racked up a pair of technical fouls. EKU's DiNunno hit a pair of freebies and then four more off of the technicals for a six-point swing.
Big Blue attempted a comeback by rattling off a 16-5 run, but the effort fell short. TSU ran out of time and dropped the game, 76-67.
The Tigers forced 17 Colonel turnovers and scored 21 off of EKU miscues. TSU also beat EKU on the boards, 31-25, thanks to 10 rebounds by M.J. Rhett.
However, the Tigers shot 37 percent from the field (19-of-51) and allowed the Colonels to make 25 of their 45 attempts (55.6 percent).
TSU is now 0-7 when shooting under 40 percent.
TSU will play the last of its three game road trip when the squad takes on Morehead State on Saturday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the action can be seen on the OVC Digital Network.
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