NAHSVILLE, Tenn. – Neither the weather or SIUE could stop Tennessee State from sending off its seniors with a, 66-61, victory on Thursday night in the Gentry Center.
In a game that was delayed for 30 minutes at halftime because of a tornado warning, senior Patrick Miller led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting. The contest marked the 40th straight game that the Chicago native has scored at least 10 points.
Senior Jacquan Nobles scored three points and grabbed four boards in his final home game.
Each of TSU’s three seniors hit triples to start the game and Wellian’s put the Tigers in front, 9-3, with only a minute-and-a-half gone.
SIUE (11-17, 7-7 OVC) responded with a 9-2 run to take the lead at 12-11, but Rhett finally got the Tigers back on track with a strong dunk off of a nice assist from Miller.
The two sides went back-and-forth for the next six minutes, but a third-straight great play from Miller --this time finding Rhett again for an easy layup—prompted SIUE head coach Lennox Forrester to call timeout with his team trailing, 25-24, with 7:53 to go in the first half.
The Cougars used the pep-talk to score six straight points and re-take the lead and head into the break up, 33-30.
The Tigers outshot SIUE in the first half (46 to 39 percent) and had more rebounds (19 versus 14), but turned the ball over seven times, leading to 10 Cougar points.
A mammoth one-handed dunk by Miller at the 15:58 mark put TSU back in control, 41-39, but the Tigers couldn’t put together consecutive field goals.
Tennessee State (4-24, 2-11 OVC) eventually gained a little ground when Miller hit threes on back-to-back trips down the court to move ahead by four, 58-54, with 5:18 to go.
An assist from Miller led to another Rhett layup from in close, allowing the Tigers to take a five-point advantage with just over one minute left in the game.
Miller hit a pair of free throws down the stretch, and TSU walked away with a 66-61 victory in the last home game of the 2013-14 season.
Tennessee State had just three turnovers in the second half and forced 10.
SIUE was paced by Kris Davis’s 14 points while Keaton Jackson added 12.
TSU will next travel to Morehead State on Feb. 27 for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off with the Eagles.