KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team fell to the University of Tennessee 67-46 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday night.
The Tigers (2-11) shot 47.8 percent from the three-point line, but were turned over 15 times by the Volunteers (7-4). Tennessee held TSU to a 29.2 percent clip in the second half.
Marcus Roper led the Tigers with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting while Jay Harris pitched in 15 points, shooting 5-for-12 from the floor.
Kevin Punter led all scorers with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the three-point line.
TSU held a 6-4 lead at the first media timeout but Tennessee quickly stole the advantage. At one point, the Volunteers led by as many as 14.
The Tigers were forced to live and die from beyond the arc as the Volunteers vehemently denied any attempt in the paint.
Trailing 27-13 at the 5:36 mark, TSU used its three-point shooting to cut the deficit to three before half. The Tigers were 6-of-11 from three-point land in the first half.
Big Blue had eight assists, as a team, for the first 20 minutes. The season average for the Tigers is 9.6.
TSU battled the first ten minutes of the final stanza but Tennessee’s post defense held strong down the stretch.
With 14:26 to play in the game, Jay Harris hit his second straight trey to give the Tigers a 38-37 lead. For the next seven minutes, the Volunteers went on a 16-2 run, powered by an electric crowd, which gave them the space they needed for the win.
The Tigers' 14 assists is the most they’ve had in five contests.
The Tigers will fly to Fort Worth for a game at Texas Christian on Monday. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m.