Nashville, Tenn. - On Sunday night, the Tennessee State men's basketball team accepted a bid to play in this year's CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The squad will travel to Evansville, Ind, in preparation of Tuesday's game against the Purple Aces.
TSU will play in the CIT for the second time in as many seasons. The Tigers fell to the Mercer Bears last year in the tournament's opening round.
The Tigers are coming off of an 18-14 campaign in which they recorded back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 16 years. The club also set a school record with an 11-2 mark in the Gentry Center.
In TSU's last game, Belmont ended the Tigers' hopes of an OVC Championship by winning, 82-73 on March 8.
Kellen Thornton paced TSU with his ninth double-double of the season, scoring a team-high 22 points and a game-high 12 boards. His performance earned him All-OVC Tournament honors.
Also recording a double-double was Patrick Miller who poured in 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting and 12 assists.
With his 12 dimes, Miller tied Kareem Gilbert's school-record for assists in a season with 191. He also set a TSU modern-era record by playing 1148 minutes on the year.
Senior Robert Covington had another solid game for TSU, dropping 16 points and securing six boards. The forward is averaging a team-best 17 points and is seventh in school history in both points and rebounds.
For the Purple Aces, they come into Tuesday's game much like TSU- with an identical 18-14 record. Evansville is also 14-3 at home.
UE is led by Colt Ryan who averages a team-best 19.6 points per game and his 587 points are the second-most in the Missouri Valley Conference. Ryan is also an able passer and is fourth in the league in assists per contest at 4.0.
Ryan's play has allowed the Aces to move into second place in the MVC in assists (504) and lead the conference in turnover margin (+3.3).
Evansville has won four of its last five games and TSU is 1-1 against EU all-time. The Tigers dominated the last meeting, 101-78, in 2001. Current TSU grad assistant Josh Cooperwood led Tennessee State in the game by pouring in 20 points.
TSU is 0-3 all-time in postseason games since joining Division I.