NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team opened up Ohio Valley Conference play by falling to Southeast Missouri State University 77-62 at Gentry Center on Saturday night.
The Tigers (3-13, 0-1 OVC) fell to the Redhawks (7-8, 1-1 OVC) for their first loss of 2015. SEMO outshot TSU for the game 50 percent to 37.7 percent. The outcome of the game brings the all-time series between the two teams at 23-19 in favor of TSU.
Marcus Roper and Jay Harris scored 13 points, apiece, while Christian Mekowulu scored 11. Harris shot 50 percent from the floor while Roper hit 40 percent of his attempts. Mekowulu was 1-for-3 from the floor and 9-for-12 from the foul line.
Jarekious Bradley came into the game as the highest scorer for either team, and he left that way. For the game, he scored 29 points (10-of-12) and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe.
Despite Harris knocking down a last-second trey, the Tigers went into the locker room down 42-30. SEMO outshot TSU 46 percent to 34 percent through the first 20 minutes.
Harris scored 11 points in the first half, shooting 4-for-6 from the floor and 3-for-4 from behind the arc. The senior provided a spark off the bench as head coach Dana Ford started the same lineup that beat Kennesaw State consisting of five freshmen.
Both teams combined for 22 fouls for the first half (11 apiece).
TSU traded shots with SEMO for the first five minutes of the second half, but ultimately could not erase the earlier deficit. The Tigers were able to cut the lead to eight with 3:24 left in the game, but the Redhawks never allowed the lead to shrink any more.
Fouls piled up for both teams, as they combined for 18 more in the final half of play. All total, there were 40 fouls called.
The Tigers will wrap up a three-game home stand with Eastern Illinois on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The game will again be the second half of a doubleheader as the Lady Tigers also host the Panthers. Tip time for the women’s game is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m.