Nashville, Tenn. - The Tigers continued their home-court heroics to lift Tennessee State University over Southeast Missouri State, 57-52, at the Gentry Center on Thursday night.
TSU (13-15, 9-8 OVC) picks up their second straight victory and third consecutive over SEMO with the regular season sweep. They snap a three-game losing streak in OVC play and improve their home record to 10-2 on the year.
The Tigers were perfect from the free-throw line hitting all 10 shots. They would benefit from the charity stripe, as it became the deciding factor during the final seconds of the game.
TSU held off the Redhawks after holding a 24-point lead in the first half. With 1:12 left to play, TSU led, 51-50, but Wil Peters, Tashan Fredrick and Robert Covington connected all six free throws down the stretch to ward off the scare.
Four players led TSU in scoring. Peters finished with a team-high 14 points and pulled in a season and team best, eight rebounds.
Patrick Miller added 11 points with Covington and Kenny Moore chipping in 10 points apiece. Covington shot 4-of-8 from the floor and hauled in six boards and Moore dished out a team high, three assists.
As a team, TSU shot 38 percent overall, 25 percent in the second half, after hitting 52 percent from the floor in the first. They won the rebounding effort over SEMO, 33-25, but gave up 32 points in the paint, scoring 22 of their own.
The Tigers led from the start, racing out to a 22-6 run midway through the first half. They followed with a 12-4 run for the largest margin of the night, 34-12. The Redhawks scored on another shot before the break, but TSU carried the advantage to the locker room, 32-14.
In the second, SEMO opened up with a 7-0 run, and then outscored the Tigers, 14-10, tclosing the lead to single digits, 44-35. SEMO continued to hack at the lead but TSU answered in the last minute to produce the final score.
SEMO (9-20, 6-11 OVC) finished shooting 45 percent overall behind Lucas Nutt, Leon Powell and Marland Smith.
Nutt shot 5-of-7 and finished with game-highs, 15 points and five assists. Powell scored all of his 14 points in the second half hitting 6-of-8. Smith chipped in 10 points and Marcus Brister tallied a game best 10 rebounds. With the loss, the Redhawks' break their win streak at two games.
The Tigers will return to action when they close out the regular season at home when they host Eastern Illinois. The OVC match-up is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. inside the Gentry Center.