MBB face Murray State on the road
Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University Tigers will travel to Murray, Ky. to face Murray State in OVC play on Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Regional Special Events Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

It will be the Tigers' first game of the week as their Tuesday home (1/2) game against Jacksonville State was postponed due to a leak in the roof of the Gentry Center. That contest has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17.

TSU (4-19, 1-10 OVC) has lost six straight games and is riding their longest losing 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 are idle on the season in shooting, hitting 40 percent from the floor. Leading scorers 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.

Murray State (20-3, 11-0 OVC) holds the series record over TSU, 40-15. In their last meeting early this season, TSU fell to Murray State, 80-59, at the Gentry Center (1/7).

Nobles scored 12 points from 4-of-8 from the floor, 4-of-5 from three-point range and Covington added 10 points.

TSU trailed, 14-0, before scoring their first basket of the night. In the second-half, they could not get find their offensive rhythm, falling behind from the largest lead of the night, 71-39, with 7:58 remaining. The Tigers mustered a 20-9 run down the stretch but could not climb out of the early deficit.

The Racers pulled in 42 boards and scored 34 points in the paint to finish shooting 54 percent from the floor. From behind the arc, they hit 7-of-14 and defensively managed six blocks that led to scores.

Isacc Miles (4-of-6) and Tony Easley (5-of-7) scored 13 points each to lead the Racers' offense. Easley also recorded four blocks and five rebounds.

TSU picked up their last win against the Racers with an 83-75 (3/7/08) second-round upset, moving on to the finals of the OVC tourney.

The Racers have proven to be a legitimate contender for the OVC crown with the nation's second-best winning streak at 11 and the 15th best home winning streak at 14.

They are coming off a 77-45 (1/30) win at UT Martin which pushed MSU to its 23rd all-time 20-win season and the first for head coach Billy Kennedy at Murray State. Three players finished in double figures.

The Racers enter the contest having moved up to seventh-place in the Mid-Major Top-25 poll and they're still ranked first in eight league statistical categories. They post the best numbers per game in scoring offense (79.0, scoring defense (60.0), scoring margin (+19.0), field-goal percentage (.515), field-goal defense (.383), three-point field defense (.297), blocked shots (6.0), and steals (11.0).

They rank in the top three in seven other categories and have proven a balanced offensive attack behind Ivan Aska (10.8 ppg), Isacc Miles (10.5 ppg), Tony Easley (10.2 ppg), Isaiah Canaan (10.2 ppg), B.J. Jenkins (10.1 ppg) and Danero Thomas (9.7 ppg).

The Tiger will return to action when the travel to UT Martin in league play. The match-up is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Skyhawk Arena in Martin Tenn. with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.