MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team fell 67-45 to Middle Tennessee State University on Sunday at Murphy Center.
The Tigers (2-10) showed strong defensive play against the Blue Raiders (7-5), but ultimately dropped their 41st all-time contest to them. MTSU has now won the last five games between the two teams.
Jacquez Rozier had 18 points to lead MTSU.
MTSU jumped out to an 18-0 lead in the first 5:27 of the game. The Tigers first bucket was a put back dunk by Zachary Lee with 14:24 remaining in the half. MTSU took a 36-23 lead into the locker room.
The Blue Raiders outshot the Tigers 54 percent to 33 percent through the first 20 minutes of play. MTSU drained six more treys than TSU and had a 10-4 advantage in the assist department.
The Tiger defense reined it in for the final 15 minutes of the first half, holding the Blue Raiders to as many points as they scored in the first five minutes of the game, keeping them off the board for the final 3:47.
TSU continued to step up their defensive presence, but was simultaneously held in check on the offensive end. They were able to pull within three possessions with 5:21 to play, but a Blue Raider dunk put them back up by 11, a gap they expanded upon through the final buzzer.
After allowing the Blue Raiders to make 86 percent (6-of-7) from the floor to begin the game, the Tigers held them to just 32 percent the rest of the way.
All total, the defense forced 13 turnovers on seven steals. They rejected four shots and grabbed 25 defensive boards, for the game.
The offense was shut down, though, as they were held to 30.6 percent from the floor.
Ultimately, TSU fell for the ninth straight time heading into Christmas.
The Tigers will have a few days off for Christmas and will return to action on Dec. 27 at Tennessee. Tip-off for that game is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.