Evans' Second-Half Surge Not Enough to Lift Tigers
Charleston, Ill. - The Tennessee State University Tigers closed a 13-point Eastern Illinois (2-4, 1-0) in the last half, but were victims of missed opportunities down the stretch. Despite a second-half surge, the Tigers drop their first conference game of the season, 71-61, at Lantz Arena.
Three Tigers scored in double digits. Gerald Robinson, Jr. led the team in scoring with 14 points (5-of-15) with seven assists. Darius Cox and Stephen Evans each added 13 points. Jerrell Houston pulled in a game high 11 rebounds and scored seven points.
TSU only held a four-point lead in the first five minutes of the game before EIU went on a 10-4 run at the 13:24 mark. The Tigers shot 10-of-31 from the field in the first half for 32 percent including 16 points in the paint. EIU countered with 43 percent from the floor including 11 turnover points and 13 points from their bench.
The Panthers pushed their lead to 10 points with 2:56 remaining behind three baskets by Ousmane Cisse. Cisse scored a game high 22 points with 10 rebounds and EIU led at the break, 37-26.
Trailing 49-40 at the 10:59 mark in the second half, the Tigers rallied behind Evans' 11 consecutive points. A Robinson lay-up with 5:22 remaining brought the Tiger within three, 56-53. EIU added to their lead as a result of free-throws and a Cisse lay-up to go up by seven, 62-55, with 2:53 on the clock.
Cox's baseline jumper on the next possession brought the Tigers within five but EIU's seven-of-eight free throw shooting down the stretch held off the Tigers for the win.
The Tigers next will match-up against Southeast Missouri, Saturday, December 6th. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.