Tigers Travel Across Town for Showdown against Belmont
Monday, November 30, 2009

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University men's basketball team will cap a six-game road stretch when they travel across town to play Belmont University, Monday, November 30, at the Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tenn. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

For the series, TSU holds the overall record, 7-6, but Belmont has won four of the last five meetings, including a 91-63 victory at the Gentry Center last December.

The Tigers (1-5) are coming off a 63-60 loss to Liberty University in their final game of the Chicago Invitational Challenge (11/22-28). TSU shot 37 percent from the field overall and received 28 points from the reserves. From the free throw line, the Tigers shot a season high 83 percent and pulled in 32 rebounds.

Robert Covington shot 6-of-14 to lead the Tigers in scoring with 18 points while pulling in six rebounds with three blocks. Covington scored 11 points, including six points, during a crucial run to close the first half.

The Tigers finished the Chicago Invitational Challenge winning one of four games played. The Tigers' 73-67 victory over Kennesaw State (11/27) during the CIC posted head coach John Cooper's first career win.

Josh Sain averaged 15 points per game during the tournament to lead the Big Blue. As a team, TSU averaged 62 points per contest, allowing 70.8 points per game. The Tigers shot 41 percent from the floor including 34 percent from three-point land. The Tigers out rebounded their opponents in the CIC, 34-33.

On the season, Sain leads the Tigers in scoring with 14.2 points per game followed by Covington, who is averaging 10 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. OVC preseason selection, Darius Cox, is posting a team best 5.2 rebounds to go along with 6.8 points per game. As a team, TSU is shooting 40 percent from the field and averaging 62 points on the season.

The Bruins (3-2) continue their four-game stretch after defeating Eastern Illinois, 95-62, in their last outing (11/28). Belmont shot 53 percent from the floor and hit a season-high, 14 three-point field goals, in earning their second victory away from home this season.

Belmont is riding a two-game win streak after dropping two in a row to Washington, 96-70, and Wright State, 82-73.

Sophomore Mick Hedgepeth recorded a career-high 23 points on 8-for-9 shooting at Eastern Illinois. Hedgepeth entered the season with only two games in which he posted double figures. On the season, he has tallied four consecutive double figure scoring games. Hedgepeth leads Belmont in scoring at 14.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

Keaton Belcher (13.4 ppg), Ian Clark (11.2 ppg), and Scott Saunders (11.0 ppg) are also averaging double digits for the Bruins. The trio also combines for 11.4 rebounds per game 

In their last two victories, Belmont is holding the opposition to 29 percent field goal shooting while holding a +13 rebounding advantage. From the floor, they are hitting 50 percent of their shots while outscoring opponents, 80-70.

Next, TSU will return to the confines of the Gentry Center to open their OVC schedule against Eastern Illinois on Thursday, December 3, with tip-off slated for a 7:30 p.m.