Tigers? Championship Bid Falls Short with 82-64 Loss to Austin Peay
Saturday, March 8, 2008


Jerrell Houston Scores Career High 25 points


The Tennessee State Tigers (15-17) bid for an Ohio Valley Conference championship came up short with an 82-64 loss to Austin Peay (24-10) at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium on ESPN2 television.


Junior forward Jerrell Houston scored a career-high 25 points with 11 rebounds in the game. Reiley Ervin, playing in his last game for the Big Blue contributed 13 points and freshman Darius Cox added 12 points with seven rebounds.


Todd Babington led Austin Peay with 24 points, including 6-8 from 3-point range. Three other Governors added double figure support, Derek Wright (13), Drake Reed (11) and Fernandez Lockett (10).


The Tigers entered their first OVC championship game in ten years as a sixth seed and were currently on a three-game winning streak. They were not able to sustain the same intensity in the championship game that had propelled them through wins at Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State and in the semifinal game against Murray State.


TSU opened the game on even terms with Austin Peay gaining a four point (12-8) lead at 14:51. The Governors went on a 15-6 run over the next four minutes to take a 23-18 lead with 10:41 remaining in the half. APSU stretched their lead to 40-25 at the intermission.


The Tigers’ offense could get no traction in the second half as TSU slipped behind by as much as twenty points (54-34) by the 14:23 mark. APSU maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game to collect the 82-64 win.


TSU shot just 37% (22-60) from the floor and were cold from 3-point range hitting just 4-21 from behind the arc. APSU shot 52% (27-52) from the field and 60% (9-15) from long range. The Tigers lost the battle of the boards 37-36.


Tennessee State’s 15 wins is the most for the Tigers since the 1995-96 season when TSU finished with a 15-13 record.