Tigers Get First Win of the Season Over NIU, 75-73
Friday, November 21, 2008

Houston's Career-High Lifts Tigers Over Huskies

TSU vs. NIU Box Score 

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University basketball team (1-2) captured their first win of the season defeating the Huskies of Northern Illinois (2-2) inside the Gentry Center, 75-73.

Senior Jerrell Houston tallied a double-double including a career-high 28 points (11 rebounds) to lead all scorers. Gerald Robinson, Jr. scored 18 points while pulling in eight boards and dishing four assists.

The Tigers collectively shot 43 percent from the field scoring 3-of-11 from behind the arc for 27 percent. From the charity stripe, the Tigers shot 28-of-33 for 85 percent. There were 14  score ties and 11 lead changes in the game with the Tigers scoring 22 points in the paint. TSU scored 14 points on second chance opportunities which stemmed from 15 offensive rebounds. The Tigers collected 40 team rebounds for the second time this season.

In the first half, the Tigers led by seven at the 15:11 mark with Houston and Robinson combining for the Tigers' first eight points of the game. The run included a Houston alley-oop dunk from a Robinson pass. The Huskies tied it up with 10:37 left when team leading scorer Mike DiNunno hit a jumper to even the score at 15. DiNunno led the Huskies with 15 points in 35 minutes of play. The remaining 10 minutes of the half featured a see-saw battle between the teams with TSU taking the slim margin in the half, 40-39.

TSU concluded the first half shooting 52 percent from the perimeter hitting 1-of-3 (33 percent) from downtown.

In the last half, two free throws from Wil Peters increased the Tigers' lead to five with 15:58 remaining. However, the Tigers found themselves trailing at the 8:45 mark due to back-to-back jumpers from NIU. The shots ignited an 8-0 NIU run. The Huskies' run produced the game's largest lead, 65-57 with 6:07 left to play.

Within the next minute, freshman Parker Smith nailed back-to-back three pointers and a 10-footer from the baseline to tie the game at 65. Smith finished with 14 points connecting 3-of-5 from behind the arc.

With 3:12 left, four lead changes and four ties made every possession critical. NIU tied the game at 73 from two free-throws with 13 seconds remaining. On the ensuing play, Robinson led the break penetrating the Huskies' interior, drawing the triple team, then dishing it  to Houston underneath for the go-ahead score, 75 -73. NIU's last second shot with 1.9 seconds left bounced of the back board sealing the TSU win.

The Tigers will host the Golden Bears of Miles College during TSU Staff and Faculty Appreciation Night, Monday, November 24th inside the Gentry Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.