Men's Basketball Drops Season Opener, 81-66
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Men's Basketball Drops Season Opener, 81-66

Provo, Utah - The Tennessee State men's basketball team forced 17 turnovers, but still fell to BYU in Provo, Utah, 81-66.

Kellen Thornton led the Tigers with a career-high 20 points and eight rebounds. He finished 9-18 from the field.

Patrick Miller also had a nice game, falling one assist short of a double-double. He had 12 points, but only made three of 10 shots.

Miller's nine assists broke his previous career high of seven that he set last year versus Murray State.

BYU's Tyler Haws started the game off with a hoop, but Thornton answered with a three-pointer and a jumper at the 18:18 mark to give TSU a three-point advantage.

Haws finished with a game-high 22 points and made 8-9 free throws.

The Cougars fought back to take the lead at 9-8 when Brock Zylstra nailed an un-contested three.

TSU went on a 7-0 run later in the first making the score 15-11 in favor of the Tigers. Covington drilled his only field goal of the first half to cap off the run.

BYU inched back into the game and eventually tied the score at 19 at the 9:23 mark. The teams went back-and-forth for the next three minutes with reserves Devante McClung and Michael Green both connecting from around the paint.

With the game still tied at 25 apiece, BYU went on a 9-3 for the remainder of the period, as TSU helped the Cougars by committing four of its 11 first half turnovers in the last five minutes.

Thornton led TSU at the break with 10 points, while Miller also performed well, tallying seven points and four assists.

Covington only played six minutes during the first half before picking up his second foul.

The Tigers came out of the half slow, only scoring two field goals in the frame's first six minutes. During that time, BYU raised its lead to eight, 40-32.

The Cougars continued their assault with a 14-8 run that spanned nearly four minutes with Brandon Davies and Brock Zylstra knocking down open looks.

Davies finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

BYU raised its lead to 64-48 with 5:27 left on a free-throw after a foul on Covington. It was Covington's fifth foul, forcing him to miss the rest of the game.

Later in the period, Jordan Cyphers ran the ball out on a breakaway and went up for a dunk. He slammed the shot home, but landed on his head on the way down. He had to be taken to the locker room for stitches and would not return.

TSU was down two starters with 3:46, and trailed by 11 on the scoreboard.

The Tigers couldn't mount a late-game charge as a layup from Davies with 49 seconds left put the Cougars up 81-66, which ended up being the final score.

TSU was outscored in the paint (18-40) and on the fast break (18-2).

The Tigers shot just 33.8 percent as a team, while BYU made 30 of its 55 shots for a 54.5 percentage.

TSU next travels to South Dakota State on Nov. 13. SDSU lost its season-opener to Alabama 70-67.

Hear Travis William's thoughts on tonight's loss, below:

--TSU Tigers--