Tigers Take on Bruins in Battle For Nashville
Friday, January 18, 2013
Tigers Take on Bruins in Battle For Nashville

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team hits the road for the first time since Jan. 5, tomorrow, when the squad travels to Belmont to take on the Bruins.

TSU comes into the game with a 12-7 record, but the Tigers' 6-0 conference mark puts them in first place in the OVC's East Division. However, the division's number one spot will be on the line in the Curb Event Center as Belmont comes into the game sporting a 14-4 overall record and a 5-0 conference mark.

On Thursday, Tennessee State defeated Jacksonville State, 66-60, to stay perfect in conference play and at home. The victory pushed the Tigers' home record to 8-0 and their OVC record to 6-0, which are their best starts since the 1994-95 season.

Kellen Thornton and Patrick Miller led TSU in scoring with 17 apiece, marking the sixth straight game that the duo has been the top two scoring Tigers.

Miller is now fifth in scoring during conference games (19.5) while Thornton is ninth (16.0).

M.J. Rhett narrowly missed his third double-double in five games against the Gamecocks, as the sophomore grabbed a game-high 10 boards and scored nine points.

Rhett is fourth in the OVC, averaging 9.8 boards per conference game and his work on the glass has helped the Tigers move into second place in rebounding margin (+3.2)

The Tigers will look to secure their best OVC start since joining the conference, but will have to defeat Belmont first.

The Bruins come into Saturday's contest currently ranked first in scoring offense (77.2 ppg), field goal percentage (48.7 percent), field goal percentage defense (38.9 percent), assists (15.8 apg) and threes made per game (8.7).

Belmont is led on the offensive end by Ian Clark, whose 23 points per contest rank tops in the conference.

However, Clark has yet to play TSU this season.

Over the last six games, TSU has allowed an average of 59.8 points which is the lowest of any Ohio Valley Conference team. The Tigers also lead the league in field goal percentage defense during that span (39.4 percent).

Belmont hasn't lost at home since Jan. 6 of last season and holds a 7-9 record against TSU all-time, but Saturday's contest will be the first meeting between the squads since Belmont joined the OVC.

The Battle for Nashville starts at 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on the OVC Digital Network.

--TSU Tigers--