Tigers in OVC action against UT Martin
Friday, January 8, 2010

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University men's basketball will look to break two losing steaks when they face UT Martin on Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Gentry Center. The rescheduled tip-off time is slated for 5 p.m.

The Tigers (3-13, 0-5) have dropped six consecutive conference games dating back to the first round of the 2009 OVC tourney and have lost seven straight versus the Skyhawks.

In their last meeting, UTM defeated TSU, 100-73, at the Gentry Center on Feb. 7, 2009 and are averaging a 17-point win margin for their current winning streak over the Tigers. Jeremiah Crutcher posted his first career-high in scoring with 18 points in the loss with Darius Cox chipping in 13 points.

However, TSU still holds the series record with a 25-21 advantage, picking up their last win in 2006, 85-82.

The Tigers are coming off their worse conference loss of the season, losing to Murray State on Thursday (1/7), 80-59. TSU leading scorer, Josh Sain, scored a team-high 13 points and now averages 14.8 ppg.

Jacquan Nobles (9.8 ppg) followed with 10 points and Robert Covington (9.8 ppg) posted 10 points.  Covington leads the team in rebounds with 5.4 per game and Wil Peters has been effective offensively averaging 9.4 ppg.

As a team, the Tigers are shooting a consistent 40 percent from the field and are scoring 66.4 points each contest.

With the loss of All-American and last year's OVC Player of the Year, Lester Hudson (58th pick 2009 NBA Draft, Boston Celtics, waived in Dec., recently signed with the Memphis Grizzlies) the Skyhawks have encountered similar league woes this season under first year head coach, Jason James.

The Skyhawks (2-11, 0-4) have won one of their last five games and are riding a two-game losing streak with a negative average of 21 points. On the road, UTM faced Austin Peay State (1/7), losing 90-72 after falling to Murray State (1/4), 83-59.

In their last outing, leading scorers Benzor Simmons (17.9 ppg, OVC), Marquis Weddle (17.8 ppg) and Reuben Clayton (15.0 ppg) registered the high numbers for the Skyhawks. Weddle finished with a game-high 25 points followed by Simmons, 17, and Clayton, 16.

Weddle and Simmons were named OVC Player of the Week early this season. They both received the honor in back-to-back weeks with Simmons earning the title on Dec. 21, 2009 and Weddle picking it up on Dec.28.

Simmons also ranks second in the OVC in points and rebounds with 7.2 per game.

The Skyhawks are shooting 38 percent from the floor scoring 67 points per game. They also average 36.4 rebounds per game in the conference and rank third in rebounding offense and steals with 8.5.

Next, the Tigers will play their first of two final non-conference games when they face Iowa. The match-up will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.