Tigers Host Eastern Illinois in OVC Action
Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nashville, Tenn. - After a six-game stretch on the road, the Tennessee State University men's basketball team will return to the Gentry Center to open their Ohio Valley Conference schedule against Eastern Illinois. The match-up is scheduled for Thursday, December 3, at 7 30 p.m.

The Tigers (1-6) enter the game having dropped three of their last four games by nine points or less, including a 69-60 loss to Belmont on Monday night (11/30). TSU is 0-1 inside the Gentry Center on the season, losing their season opener to top-ranked Siena, 85-69, on Nov. 13.

TSU is shooting 39 percent from the floor and posting 62 points per game. The Tigers are led in scoring by newcomer Josh Sain (13.1 ppg), rebounds, Darius Cox (5.1 rpg), and assists, Jeremiah Crutcher (2.5 apg).

For the series between EIU, TSU holds the advantage, 23-17, after winning their last meeting against the Panthers (02/26/09), 83-63, inside the Gentry Center. The Tigers are 9-14 in OVC openers since joining the league in 1986, having registered a 1-1 record when facing EIU on opening night.

The Panthers (3-2) are coming off a 95-62 home loss to Belmont on Saturday (11/28) and an 82-68 win at Chicago State (11/24). EIU is 2-0 on the road picking up a win in their second game of the season against Toledo (11/14), 72-62.

The Panthers are averaging 75 points per contest and shooting 50 percent from the floor. EIU has managed to play well away from Lantz Arena hitting 53 percent overall and 50 percent from behind the arc.

They are led by OVC preseason picks Tyler Laser and Romain Martin. Martin, who had minor knee surgery on Nov. 18, has been EIU's leading scorer the past three seasons will not be active and could miss up to six weeks. Laser is averaging a team-best, 16.8 points per game, shooting 60 percent from behind the arc.

Jeremy Granger follows averaging 11 points and two rebounds per game after netting a career high of 24 points against Chicago State.

The Tigers will next host OVC opponent, Southeast Missouri State, on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Gentry Center. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.