TIGERS PUSH TOP-SEED AUSTIN PEAY TO THE WIRE
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. --- Tennessee State pushed top seed Austin Peay to the wire, but the veteran Governors overcame the determined Tigers to escape with a 75-71 win in the opening round of the 2004 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Tuesday night. The Tigers had entered the tournament as the eighth seed against the Govs who went through the regular season with an unblemished 16-0 mark. However, TSU led at halftime 39-38 before the Govs took the lead in the second half. TSU kept within striking distance and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds before a 3-point attempt fell off the mark. APSU hit one of two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to seal the win. "Our players gave maximum effort against the league champions," said TSU first-year head coach Cy Alexander. "Our young men competed and showed that they belonged in the OVC tournament." The Tigers had one of their better shooting nights and balanced attacks of the season, placing four players in double figurers. TSU finished the game shooting 52 percent, including 10-of-20 from 3 point range. Roshaun Bowens led the Tigers with 18 points, 16 coming in the first half. Senior Garrett Richardson, playing his final game at TSU, scored 13 points as did Bruce Price and Jeremy Jackson off the bench. Austin Peay was led by Josh Lewis 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Govs shot 24-of-50 from the field for 48 percent. Richardson was one of three Tiger seniors playing his final game. Also concluding their college career were guard Brandon Lockridge and senior center Cedric Bryson.