PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – For the third consecutive game M.J. Rhett dominated in the post scoring 17 points, paired with 12 rebounds for his third straight double double, and fifth of the year, as the Tigers lost to Drexel 75-61.
Rhett went 4-of-9 on the day from the floor and 9-10 from the foul line (season highs in free-throws and free-throws made) to finish with 17 points.
Senior Patrick Miller reached double figures in scoring for his 23rd straight game, the Chicago native finished with 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field. Miller also tied a season high with 6 rebounds for the Tigers.
Tennessee State (0-10) got off to a racing start to begin the contest, after falling behind 3-0 following a 3-pointer from Drexel’s (6-2) Chris Fouch, the Tigers rallied for a 6-0 spurt. The run included three consecutive layups by freshman Jamonte Graham and two from junior Jaleel Queary.
From there, the two teams were off to the races. Between the 16:49 mark and 13:35 the game saw eight baskets from six different players. The clubs shared three ties and the game had five lead changes with Drexel having the slight edge 15-14. In the span, the Tigers shot 60 percent from the floor.
Drexel caught fire from the floor and used an 11-1 run to regain the lead 25-15. During the span the Dragons shot 62.5 percent and held Big Blue scoreless for 6:18 of play.
Coach Travis Williams’ squad answered the Dragons’ fire by attacking the rim, trading points with the CAA club. Inside the Big Blue offense connected on four layups and three freebies to cut the Drexel advantage down to five, 31-26, with 3:57 left in the opening frame.
A 7-0 run from Drexel in the next 1:53 pushed the Dragons lead back out to double digits, 38-26, with 1:46 left in the half. The two teams traded baskets to seal the half giving Drexel a 40-28 lead into the locker room.
Miller paced the Tigers in the first half with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting, junior M.J. Rhett poured in five six points, all from the line (6-for-6), and grabbed five boards.
Out of the break, both clubs traded baskets with the Dragons remaining out in front by double digits. Rhett shined for the Tigers to open the final period putting in six points and with three rebounds in the opening 7:01 of the second.
The Dragons extended their lead out to as many as 16, 53-37 with 10:55 left in the contest.
Rhett (nine points), Miller (four points), and Jaleel Queary (two points) combined to score the first 15 points of the second half to keep the Tigers in the game. A 3-pointer from junior Jay Harris, with 8:17 left, closed the gap to single digits, 54-46 for the first time since the 2:20 mark in the first half.
A Miller layup cut the Drexel advantage down to six, 55-49, with 6:16 remaining.
The home team used a 9-0 run in 1:37 of game time to push the lead back out to double digits, 64-49, at the 4:14 mark.
Tennessee State closed to within single digits just once more in the game before falling 75-61.
Big Blue returns home after a week break to take on Fisk on Sunday Dec. 15 at 4:30 in the Gentry Center.
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