Clarksville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team escaped Clarksville, Tenn. with an 88-82 overtime victory over Austin Peay on Thursday night.
With the score tied at 65 with only five seconds to go in the game, APSU's Will Triggs stole the ball and passed it up ahead to Herdie Lawrence. Lawrence scored a layup, giving APSU a two-point lead.
On TSU's inbound play, the Tigers threw the ball down the court and Jordan Cyphers caught the pass and attempted a triple. The shot fell short of the rim, but right into the hands of Kellen Thornton. Thornton tipped the ball in the hoop with just tenths of a second remaining in the game to force overtime.
In the extra period, Patrick Miller scored nine points and led TSU (14-10, 8-3 OVC) to the six-point victory. Miller's dunk with 27 seconds left in the game made the score 86-77 and ended all hopes of a miracle by the Govs.
Miller ended the game with a team-high 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting. The guard also notched seven assists and four swipes.
Cyphers added 19 points while M.J. Rhett canned 18 and was 7-of-8 from the field.
The first half was a see-saw affair with neither side gaining much of an advantage over the other. In fact, there were 10 lead changes and six ties within the first 20 minutes of the game.
Cyphers and Thornton got the Tigers started by each canning a triple. However, a three from APSU's Travis Betran a minute later made the score 7-6 in favor of the home team.
Thornton finished the game with nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
From that point, TSU went on a 6-0 run that was led by a pair of hoops from Robert Covington. His first was a strong two-handed slam that was set up by a Rhett steal.
Covington had 10 points and five boards in 17 minutes of action.
The Tiger run put TSU up 12-7 with 16:56 left in the first. The five-point lead would be the biggest point spread of the first period.
The Govs (5-19, 1-9 OVC) responded to the Tennessee State streak with a 9-1 run that featured a pair of back-to-back dunks from Chris Horton.
Again the Tigers came back to pull off another long run. This one had TSU pouring in 11 points compared to just four for the Govs. A jumper by Miller ended the string of TSU buckets and left the Tigers up 27-22 with 7:47 left in the opening stanza.
After Miller's hoop, neither side led by more than a field goal for the remainder of the first half, and a pair of free throws from Miller made the score 36 all heading into the break.
Miller ended the first half with a team-high ten points on 3-of-8 shooting and a steal. TSU swiped five balls during the first 20 minutes and caused nine APSU turnovers.
TSU came out strong to start the second half and led by five at 45-40 when Cyphers drained a triple with 17:25 to go.
The Tigers continued to lead throughout the frame and eventually went up by six when Miller converted on a layup with 9:47 left.
From that point, the Govs chipped away at the Tiger lead and eventually tied the score at 63. That basket set up the wild final two minutes that featured three ties and two lead changes.
TSU was outrebounded 41-36 during the game, but the Tigers shot 49.2 percent (30-of-61) while the Govs were held to a 43.3 line (29-of-67).
The Tigers next travel to Murray State on Feb. 9 for a matchup against the defending OVC Champions. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on the OVC Digital Network.
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