NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team notched its first Ohio Valley Conference victory of the season with a 70-65 home win against Jacksonville State on Saturday night.
Senior guard Patrick Miller led the Tigers with 19 points and added five rebounds, four assist and four steals.
Fellow senior Jacquan Nobles was second on the team, finishing with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including a 3-for-6 mark from deep.
Forward M.J. Rhett recorded a game-high 13 rebounds, helping Tennessee State (2-14, 1-2 OVC) to a 35-28 advantage on the boards.
The Gamecocks won the tip, but Miller stole a JSU pass, raced all the way down the court, and converted a contested layup for the game’s first basket.
Miller later converted a pair of free throws at the 12:50 mark to put the Tigers up, 13-7. Jacksonville State (7-11, 1-2 OVC) committed the first six fouls of the game, leading to seven of TSU’s first 13 points.
The Tigers continued to roll in the first half as a jumper by Ugo Mmonu made the score 22-15 with nine minutes to play before halftime.
Tennessee State made just two of its last 10 shots of the stanza, allowing JSU to go on a 15-9 run for the remainder of the period. However, TSU still led at the break for the second consecutive game, 31-30.
The Tigers were outshot during the opening 20 minutes, 46 to 37 percent, but held a 21-10 advantage on the glass.
Nobles drained a triple to start the second half, and Kennedy Eubanks added a layup on the next trip down the floor to put the Tigers back up by six.
JSU brought the TSU lead down to one with a bucket at the 15:22 mark, but back-to-back triples by Eubanks and Jay Harris made the score 46-41 in favor of the home side.
Nobles hit his third three of the game with 5:30 to go to put TSU up by eight, but the Gamecocks pulled within two with a 5-0 run later in the period.
Miller nailed a triple on TSU’s next possession to make the score 65-60 with only 1:36 left and the Tigers forced a turnover on the ensuing series.
From there, Tennessee State made 5-of-7 from the charity stripe and escaped with a five-point victory, 70-65.
The Tigers were 8-for-17 (47.1 percent) from beyond the three-point line during the game, including a 6-for-11 line for the second half.
TSU will take a brief reprieve from conference play by hosting Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.
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