Nashville, Tenn. - The Tigers (No. 5) suffered an early exit in the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament with a, 68-64, loss to Tennessee Martin on Wednesday night in the Municipal Auditorium.
TSU was eliminated in the opening round for the third straight season after meeting the Skyhawks (No. 8) for the first time in post-season play. The Tigers' four-game win streak over UTM ends along with their three-game win streak entering the tourney.
The Tigers (14-16) shot 42 percent and were outrebounded, 34-31, surrendering 16 points from turnovers.
TSU held the lead at the break, 29-26, and extended it to their largest lead of the night, 38-28, with 16:50 left. They held a steady advantage for more than eight minutes and led, 59-52, with 7:02 remaining.
UTM then used an 8-0 run to take the lead, 60-59, under the five-minute mark but the Tigers had life left. With TSU trailing, 65-61, with under a minute left, Miller hit two free throws and the Tigers got the ball back after a UTM turnover.
Moore was sent to the line with 15 seconds on the clock to close the margin but hit one-of-two. The Skyhawks still held a one-point lead when TSU fouled UTM's Terence Smith.
Smith iced the game hitting both shots adding to his game high 20 points. He grabbed a team high, eight rebounds, and four assists.
Mike Liabo and Reuben Clayton dropped 12 points each and Andres Irarrazabel recorded 10 points. UTM (12-20) shot 41 percent from the floor and tied TSU with 32 points in the paint. They will move on to the quarter finals to face Tennessee Tech.
For the Tigers, their season concludes with five more wins than last year while finishing above .500 in OVC play for the first time since the 2005-06.