WICHITA, Kan. – Strong shooting and a one-point halftime lead could not save the Tennessee State men’s basketball team as the squad fell to No. 16 ranked Wichita State on the road, 85-71.
TSU (0-4) had three players score in double-digits for the first time this season, scored a season high 71 points and shot 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the field.
Patrick Miller led the Tigers with 23 points including a 3-of-6 mark from behind the arc.
M.J. Rhett recorded his second double-double of the season with 16 points on f-of-9 shooting (55 percent) and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Jaleel Queary had a career-high 10 points and added a new personal-best five rebounds.
Rhett was a force for the Tigers early on, scoring the team’s first four points to keep the game tied through the 16-minute mark. TSU’s defense was tenacious as well, holding the Shockers to a 1-for-6 shooting line (17 percent) during that span.
Miller gave TSU the lead at 9-8 with a circus layup in traffic with 14:19 to play, but the advantage was short-lived. WSU went on a 10-4 run, highlighted by a dunk, to take a six-point lead.
The Tigers responded with six straight points, four coming from Rhett with a Jordan Gaither lay-in sandwiched in-between. The quick stretch tied the game at 19 at the 6:25 mark.
The game went back and forth for the remainder of the half with neither team pulling ahead by more than one basket. With three seconds left in the period, Miller sunk a three-pointer to give the Tigers a 29-28 lead heading into the locker room.
The Tigers shot a solid 46 percent (12-of-26) from the field during the first 20 minutes and Miller and Rhett poured in nine points apiece.
TSU committed six turnovers in the first half and only forced three. However, that stat mattered little as Tennessee State scored six points off of WSU miscues compared to just two points by the Shockers.
Alex Bates started the second stanza with a three-point play at the 19:32 mark to give TSU a four-point lead, its biggest of the game.
From that point, the Shockers went on a 14-4 run to take a 42-36 advantage with 15:31 to go. TSU committed five turnovers and four fouls to aid the Shockers.
WSU padded its cushion later in the period when Tekele Cotton hit a three to put his team up by 10 with a little over 13 minutes to play.
Another triple, this one by Nick Wiggins, put the Shockers up by 19 with four and a half minutes left in the game. The long ball capped off a 12-3 Shocker run.
TSU scored eight of the game’s final 10 points, but could not dig itself of a 20-point hole and fell to the Shockers, 85-71.
TSU was outscored
Miller had 14 points in the second period on 5-of-11 shooting (45 percent), but TSU’s bench was outscored 20-4 during the final 20 minutes.
The Shockers used a combination of great shooting (56.3 percent) and a plus-eight advantage on the boards to pull away in the second half.
Tennessee State will hold its first home game of the season on Monday when the Tigers host the Bisons of Lipscomb at 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.
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