Nashville, Tenn. - After a hard fought first half, the Tennessee State University Tigers scored nine points in the first ten minutes of the second, dropping their season opener to Siena, 85-69, Friday night (11/13) at the Gentry Center.
The final score mirrors Siena's win in the teams' first meeting on Dec. 28, 2006 in Albany.
The Tigers (0-1) shot 42 percent (25-of-60) from the field and 62 percent from the free-throw line. Siena committed a game high 29 turnovers but shot 65 percent from the floor and won the battle of the boards, 35-24.
Robert Covington led TSU with 21 points after scoring two in the first half and 16 in the final six minutes of the game. He connected 8-of-14 overall from the floor , including 5-of-9 from behind the arc. Josh Sain followed with 16 points hitting 6-of-12 with 2-of-4 from three-point range. Wil Peters tallied a team high, seven assists, to go along with nine points (3-of-6).
TSU led three times in the first going up, 25-23, for their last lead with 4:26 remaining. In the final two minutes, Siena enforced a 13-3 run after tying the Tigers on the next shot to take a half time advantage, 38-28.
The Saints (1-0) were led by Clarence Jackson's game-high 24 points (7-of-9) and Alex Franklin's double-double, scoring 19 points while hauling in a game best, 14 rebounds.
In the second half, the Saints scored 31 points in ten minutes of play, pulling away from the Tigers for the largest lead of the game, 72-37.
Covington scored 11 straight points for TSU, hitting three consecutive 3-point baskets, following with a dunk to help trigger a TSU comeback. Narrowing the score, 83-60, the Tigers' 11-2 run finished the game for the final score.
The Tigers will jump back into action when they travel to Dekalb, Ill. to face Northern Illinois on Friday, Nov. 20. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.