Price scores 20, James Craft has “Career” Night
Center James Craft had a career night, scoring 10 points, six at crucial times in the second half. Gerald Robinson, Jr. added 12 points and led all players with 8 rebounds in the TSU victory. Price also led the Tigers with eight assists.
Ray George led the Racers with 25 points off the bench and Danero Thomas scored 21.
The Tigers were playing in their first tournament semifinal game since 1998 will also advance to play in the championship game Saturday for the first time since 1998.
TSU scored first in the game when Robinson canned a 3-pointer at the 19:19 mark and after Murray State tied the game at 3-3 (17:23) the Tigers were never headed in the half, building as much as a nine point lead at 25-16 (8:51) and 35-26 (1:12). TSU held a 35-28 lead at the intermission.
In the second half, Murray State outscored the Tigers 18-10 in the first 6:00 of the second half to gain a 46-45 lead at 13:59. The Racers increased their lead to 3 points (56-53) at the 8:56 mark, but the Tigers surged back to the lead six point lead (62-56) on a 9-0 run after the 6:24 mark of the game. With 2:31 remaining the Tigers held a 69-60 lead, when the Racers mounted a late rally.
TSU made 11 of 12 free throws in the final 2:31, including four straight by Price, to hold off a late Murray State rally.
A 3-pointer by Murray State’s George pulled the Racers to 78-75 with 32.9 seconds to go, but Price, Jerrell Houston and Moraye Ive combined to make five of six free throws in the final 26.4 to preserve TSU's victory.
Tennessee State will face Austin Peay in the OVC Championship game on Saturday, March 8th at 4:00p. The game will be televised nationally on the ESPN2 television network.