Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University men's basketball team opened their 2010-11 schedule with an 84-77 exhibition win over Trevecca Nazarene at the Gentry Center on Tuesday night.
The Tigers got off to a slow start but finished shooting 43 percent from the floor with four players posting double figures.
Robert Covington led all scorers with 20 points from 7-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-6 from long range and 4-of-6 from the line. Covington also hauled in a team-high seven boards.
Patrick Miller added 19 points shooting 3-of-9 overall, 2-of-4 from behind the arc, while gathering most of his points from free throws, hitting 11-of-14. Kenny Moore came off the bench to chip in 15 points (5-of-10) and six rebounds. Wil Peters scored 10 points and dished out four assists.
The Tigers fell into a 15-point hole in the first half trailing by the largest deficit of the night, 41-26, after the Trojans opened the game with a 9-0 lead. TSU shot 38 percent (12-of-32) from the floor in the first before closing the half on an 8-3 run, yet trailing, 44-34, at the break.
In the second, the Tigers outscored the Trojans, 26-14, to take their first lead of the game, 60-58, with 9:42 left to play. They would stretch the advantage with an 11-2 run before TNU answered with eight straight points. The Trojans would come within two (73-71) with 3:29 left, but TSU managed another strong run (11-6) to hold off TNU's comeback.
The win increased TSU's lead over TNU in the all-time series, 9-0.
The Trojans finished with four players in double figures with Michael France leading the effort with 19 points and a game high, nine rebounds. JP Nyadaro recorded 15 points (6-of-10) while Keith Morris followed with 14. Marquise Rudolph finished with 12 points rounding out the top scorers before fouling out. TNU shot 46 percent from the floor overall and 83 percent from the free throw line.
The Tigers will host their last exhibition game on the schedule when they play Carson Newman on Monday, Nov. 8, at the Gentry Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. The regular season will begin when they face Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. on Nov. 12.