Tigers begin OVC schedule at Eastern Illinois
Thursday, December 2, 2010

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Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University men's basketball team will face their first league opponent of the season when they play Eastern Illinois. The Ohio Valley Conference game is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 2, at Lantz Arena in Charleston, Ill. with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.

TSU leads the all-time series against the Panthers, 23-19, but have dropped the last three games at Lantz Arena. The teams have split the last six meetings, however, the Tigers loss both games last year including a triple overtime, 83-81, defeat at home.  It was the first time in the program's history the Tigers played in triple overtime.

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To close out last year's regular season, TSU dropped a 66-61 loss despite game-highs from Jacquan Nobles, 19 points, and Robert Covington, 18 points.

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The Tigers recorded their last win versus EIU on Feb. 26, 2009; at the Gentry Center, 83-63; under interim head coach Mark Pittman

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During the 2007-08 season, TSU picked up their last win in Charleston with a buzzer beater from Bruce Price for a final score of 74-72.

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The Tigers (1-5) are looking to get on track from a four-game slide after losing to Belmont at home, 87-72, on Monday. Covington scored a game-high 18 points with Wil Peters and Kenny Moore each scoring 15 points.

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Moore continues to pace the Tigers' offense averaging 14.3 points per game while tying a team best with 7.8 rebounds per game. Moore has scored in double figures in every game on the season including a 15-point performance against Belmont.

Covington adds 13.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and has recorded the game-high in points in the last two contests. Patrick Miller follows with 13.5 points per game.

Eastern Illinois (2-4) comes in after losing 84-58 to South Dakota State for the second time this year. The Panthers, 1-1 at home, picked up back-to-back wins after defeating Bradley, 63-56, and IU South Bend, 57-40.

EIU, picked to finish third in the OVC preseason poll, is led by preseason team selection, Tyler Laser. Laser, a first team All-OVC selection last year, fuels the offense with a team high 12.8 ppg. Jeremy Granger is second on the team with 11.2 ppg and Shaun Pratl is the Panther's top rebounder with 5.0 rpg.

EIU is third in the conference in assist/turnover ratio (0.9) and field goal defense (.422).

The Tigers will play Southeast Missouri State next in OVC play on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.