Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University men's basketball team will open the 2009-10 season when they host Siena College on Friday night (11/13) at the Gentry Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. This is the third consecutive regular season home opener for TSU.
The game will mark the season debut of new TSU head coach John Cooper. Cooper enters his first year as a head coach and is joined by several new assistant coaches with eight newcomers joining last year's team.
This is the second all-time meeting between the schools and is the return game of a home-and-home series. Siena won, 89-61, in Albany during the 2006-07 season. Siena's win, marks the only previous meeting between the schools. The Tigers led the Saints 40-35 at halftime, but Siena out-scored TSU 46-29 after intermission. Michael Haddix led all players with 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Saints. Larry Turner had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead TSU.
The Tigers cracked the season open in their only exhibition game of the season last week (11/3). TSU defeated the Trojans, 91-62, in the Gentry Center. The Tigers jumped out to a 27-9 lead in the first half and held as much as a 40-point advantage. Four players finished in double figures with the Tigers shooting more than 50 percent overall.
Josh Sain scored a game-high 21 points, connecting 8-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from three-point range. He also added four assists and three steals. Jacquan Nobles followed with 20 points, hitting 6-of-10 from the floor while connecting 4-of-6 from behind the arch. Robert Covington tallied a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Jeremiah Crutcher shot 4-of-7 from the field also scoring 11 points.
The Saints will open their season against the Tigers. Last season, Siena managed a 27-8 overall record, while posting a 16-2 mark in the conference. The Saints were crowned MAAC Champions while making it to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The Saints defeated Ohio State in first-round play in double overtime, 74-72, before dropping to Louisville, 72-79.
The Saints return four starters in Edwin Ubiles, Alex Franklin, Ryan Rossiter, and Ronald Moore. Ubiles led the team in scoring, averaging 15 points and 4.9 rebounds last year.
Next up, TSU will head out to Dekalb, Ill. to face Northern Illinois in non-conference play. Tip-off is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. inside the Convocation Center.