Tigers home against Jacksonville State for Coaches vs. Cancer Night
Monday, February 1, 2010

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University Tigers will face Jacksonville State in OVC play on Tuesday, Feb. 2, for Coaches vs. Cancer. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

TSU (4-19, 1-10 OVC) has lost six straight games and is riding their longest winning streak since the 2006-07-season when the Tigers lost seven in a row.

Five of the last six losses have come in conference play, including a 75-58 defeat to Eastern Kentucky on Sunday (1/31). The Tigers' last win was over UT Martin (1/9) at home, 73-59.

In their last outing, Jacquan Nobles led all scorers with 20 points from 8-of-15 shooting with 4-of-6 coming from long range. Robert Covington chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds with Tashan Fredrick notching a career-high 11 points and eight boards.

The Tigers activated nine players sitting out five. Starters Jeremiah Crutcher and Darius Cox were placed on the injured list and Josh Sain, Erick Peguero and Hamilton Nash sat out due to head coach John Cooper's decision.

The Tigers are idle on the season in shooting, hitting 40 percent from the floor. Sain continues to lead the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game. Nobles (10.7 ppg) and Covington (10.0 ppg) have combined to account for 31 percent of the offense. Covington also leads the team with 5.8 boards per game.

For the series, TSU holds the slim lead, 8-7, but has won two out of the last three meetings.

In their last game against Jacksonville State (1/21), the Tigers fell 85-67 after leading at the break. Three players finished in double figures for TSU. Darius Cox scored a season and team-high, 17 points (8-of-13), to go with nine rebounds. Robert Covington posted 11 points and seven boards and Josh Sain followed with 10 points.

The Tigers committed 20 turnovers including eight late in the second half which led to 16 points for the Gamecocks. JSU scored 50 points in the paint, 27 fast-break points and 15 second-chance points while capitalizing on TSU turnovers to secure the win.

JSU shot 53 percent from the field and were led in scoring by Nick Murphy, Trenton Marshall, and Stephen Hall. Murphy shot 10-of-14 and registered a double-double with a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Marshall went 9-of-16 for 21 points adding nine boards and five assists. Hall scored 12 points, hitting 5-of-6 from the floor, and Dominique Shellman dished out a game-high 10 assists.

For the year, the Tigers are idle on the season in shooting hitting 40 percent from the floor. Sain continues to lead the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game. Nobles (10.7 ppg) and Covington (10.0 ppg) have combined to account for 31 percent of the offense. Covington also leads the team with 5.8 boards per game.

JSU (10-11, 6-5 OVC) has won four of their last five which were league victories only losing to Austin Peay State, 66-64, in overtime. They have won two straight and are fresh off a 70-55 win over Eastern Illinois (1/30) that capped a four game home stand.

The Gamecocks are 1-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference when playing on the road. They are shooting 44 percent from the floor and are powered by the OVC's top scorer, the OVC Newcomer of the Week, Trenton Marshall. Marshall was named OVC Newcomer of the Week five times and received the rare Player of the Week nomination (1/11) in his first season as a transfer.

Marshall is averaging 18.6 ppg and 5.7 rpg and is third in the conference with 1.7 steals per contest.

JSU is the league's best free-throw shooting team (.735) and distributes the ball well topping the category with 16.4 assists per game. They are third in the OVC in three-point field-goal percentage (.376) connecting an average of 6.5 per game.

Defensively, the Gamecocks are ranked third when defending the perimeter (.420) and second in blocks with 2.9 per game. The defense in the paint is headed by Amadou Mbodji and Sean Thurston. Mbodji (1.5 bpg) is ranked No. 3 in blocks and Sean Thurston (1.1 bpg) is No. 4.

Nick Murphy leads the team in rebounds (6.6 rpg) and is second in scoring (13.6 ppg). Jeremy Bynum is follows with 10.6 ppg and Dominique Shellman is second in the OVC in assists with 4.8 per game.

Next, the Tigers are back on the road for OVC play on Thursday, Feb. 4, when they travel to Murray, Ky. to face Murray State. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs. Coaches wear sneaker with their dress slacks to honor the cause.