NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team dropped an 86-70 decision to Morehead State University Monday night in the Gentry Center.
The Tigers (5-23, 2-11 OVC) were overcome by full-court pressure at the beginning of the game. The Eagles (12-16, 7-6 OVC) used the turnovers they created early to build a sizable lead of which TSU never turned into single-digits.
The win is the 35th in the all-time series for Morehead State.
Xavier Richards set a career-high with 23 points (7-for-11) and added four rebounds. Jay Harris and Marcus Roper both scored a dozen to give TSU three double-digit scorers. Richards’ total was also a game-high.
Morehead State had four players score in double figures and was led by Angelo Warner’s 21 (7-for-11). Karam Mashour (19), Brent Arrington (15), and Billy Reader (12) were the other Eagles to fill up the stat sheet.
TSU began the game on a high note with a trey by Harris, extending their streak of games with at least one trey to 722. That, however, would be the team's largest lead of the game.
The Eagles had early success with the full-court press on the Tigers, forcing seven turnovers in the first six minutes. Morehead State capitalized and TSU trailed by 11 heading into the second media timeout of the game.
Morehead State continued to pour it on and went into the locker room with a 54-38 lead. That is the most points that TSU has given up in a half, all year (previous highest was 49 in second half at Murray State). Three Eagles were in double figures, scoring-wise, at the break.
The Tigers began to make a push toward a comeback eight minutes into the second half. A couple of extended plays, thanks to Christian Mekowulu and Zach Lee grabbing offensive rebounds, got TSU within a dozen after having trailed by as much as 22.
With 6:22 left in the game, Demontez Loman made a move at the free throw line, created a lane, and took the ball to the rack for the dunk. Those two points brought the Tigers to within 11 points as they continued to fight in the final 20 minutes.
Angelo Warner stuck a dagger in the redemption attempt with a trey at the 4:36 mark. The bucket turned a four-possession game into a five-possession contest.
Four made freebies; followed by a dunk on their next possession, put Morehead State up 17 with three minutes left.
TSU was unable to assail the deficit from there.
The Tigers will play their final home game of the season on Thursday night as they host UT Martin at 7:00 p.m. It will be the final home game of Jay Harris’ career.