Second Half Cold Spell Dooms Tigers in Murray
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Second Half Cold Spell Dooms Tigers in Murray

Murray, Ky. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team fell to Murray State on Saturday night, 69-48, thanks to a late 27-8 Racer run.

TSU's 48 points were its lowest in an OVC game since scoring 44 in a loss to Austin Peay on Feb. 12, 2007.

Kellen Thornton and Patrick Miller paced the Tigers (14-11, 8-4 OVC) with 12 points apiece and Robert Covington added 11.

Covington also tallied 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season and his first since Dec. 16.

Murray State (18-5, 9-2 OVC) won the tip and immediately scored the game's opening hoop. Covington responded with a three, but the Racers went on 7-0 run to make the score 9-3 in favor of the home side.

M.J. Rhett ended the Murray State stretch with a layup at the 16:02 mark, but the sophomore forward went down with a shoulder injury on TSU's next defensive possession.

The Racers capitalized off of the lack of depth down low with 14 first half points in the paint compared to just four for TSU.

Isaiah Canaan led Murray State to a 12 point lead over the next eight minutes en route to scoring seven first half points.

The Tigers chipped away at the lead and even got it down to six when Miller hit a triple, but Murray State would go into halftime leading by nine, 32-23.

Miller led all scorers in the first period with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting. However, the Tigers shot just 23 percent (7-of-31) during the opening frame while the Racers made 12-of-25 (48 percent).

TSU came out much hotter shooting the basketball in the second half and eventually cut the Racer lead to four when Thornton hit a jumper at the 14:55 mark.

The Tigers kept fighting and a tip slam by Thornton and an old-fashioned three-point play by Miller on consecutive possessions put Murray State ahead, 42-40.

After Miller's free throw at the 12:59 mark, TSU would score just eight more points for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, the Racers rattled off 27 points to walk away with a 69-48 victory.

TSU was 7-of-13 to start the second half, but made just 3-of-15 during the game's final 13 minutes. The Tigers ended the game shooting 28.8 percent (17-of-59) which is their lowest total in an OVC contest this season.

TSU beat the Racers 42-35 on the boards, but Big Blue committed 19 turnovers.

Tennessee State will look to rebound on Thursday when the squad comes home to play Belmont. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. and it will be a "White-Out" and fans are encouraged to wear white.

Note: With his 11 points, Covington passed Monti Davis for eighth place on TSU's all-time scoring list. The senior now has 1,604 career points.

--TSU Tigers--