Dekalb, Ill. - The Tennessee State University Tigers' early scoring slump ended in an 85-57 loss to Northern Illinois Friday night at the Convocation Center.
TSU shot 35 percent from the field with NIU hitting 54 percent. The Huskies out rebounded the Tigers 47-32. Starters Robert Covington, Wil Peters and Josh Sain got in early foul trouble in the first half with three apiece.
The Tigers (0-2) scored five points in the opening eight minutes of play trailing 25-8 with 12:03 remaining in the first half. TSU shot 30 percent from the floor and behind the arc, committing nine turnovers. Jacquan Nobles came in to give the Tigers a lift during a drought hitting a three-point basket off the bench to spark a 15-9 run. At end of the first half, TSU trailed 47-28.
Nobles scored a game high, 21 points (7-of-11) hitting 5-of-6 from three-point range to lead TSU. Darius Cox scored 12 and grabbed five rebounds.
NIU (1-2) had three players in double figures. Sean Kowal scored 18 points and hauled in 10 rebounds. Tony Nixon added 16 points and Mike DiNunno pitched in 11 points. Darion Anderson hauled in a game high, 13 rebounds, to go along with nine points on the night.
TSU trimmed the lead to 13 when Nobles hit three straight three-point baskets in a two-minute span. TSU rallied on 16-2 run with 8:28 remaining in the game to narrow the Huskies' lead, 65-52.
The Huskies responded with a 20-5 run to close the game.
TSU will jump back into play when the travel to Evanston, Ill. to face Northwestern in their first of four games in the Chicago Invitational Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m at the Welsh-Ryan Arena.