Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University Tigers were able to hold off Eastern Kentucky's second-half assault, notching their fifth straight win, with a 62-49 victory on Tuesday night in the Gentry Center.
The win streak is the longest under head coach John Cooper.
It was strong shooting in the first half that gave TSU (6-6, 3-1 OVC) enough leverage to outlast the Colonels' charge in the second. The Tigers shot 56 percent overall while torching 58 percent from three-point range in the first half. However, they ran into some cold spurts and EKU's zone defense in the second, shooting 30 percent in the half. Overall, they finished hitting 43 percent from the floor while winning the rebounding effort over EKU, 44-27.
Robert Covington posted a double-double, his second on the season, leading all scorers with a season-high, 22 points, and a game-best 12 rebounds. He shot 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-4 from the arc, scoring 15 points in the first half.
Wil Peters, Kenny Moore, and Jerret Towns each chipped in nine points. Peters and Moore each shot 3-of-6 from the floor with Moore adding eight boards on the night. In his second game back from an injury suffered in the first game of the season, Towns shot 3-of-5 from the outside and tied a team-high three assists.
In the first half, TSU jumped out in front courtesy of unanswered runs of 6-0, 11-0 and 8-0, while holding the Colonels scoreless for over seven minutes to hold the largest lead of the game, 41-15, with 1:39 left. The Colonels broke their drought scoring the final basket of the half to trail the Tigers at the break, 41-17.
In the second, EKU cut the deficit with a 22-8 run to bring the score, 49-39, with 6:09 remaining. They would come as close as nine points twice with their last coming under a minute remaining. With less than three minutes of play and the score 54-43, TSU outscored EKU, 8-6, hitting 3-of-4 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line down the stretch.
For EKU (5-7, 1-3 OVC), Joshua Jones and Josh Daniel scored in double figures. Jones netted 15 points with four assists and Daniel shot 3-of-6 from the arc, 5-of-6 from the line, to add 14 more. Justin Stommes and Taylor Filipek each pulled in a team-high five rebounds. The Colonels drop their third straight while shooting 31 percent from the field as a unit.
The Tigers will play their final game in 2010 on Dec. 29, when they visit Middle Tennessee State in non conference play. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.