Tigers and Lady Tigers in Regular Season Finale against Eastern Illinois
The Lady Tigers (17-11, 13-4 OVC) will jump start the evening when they go head-to-head with the Panthers (21-8, 14-3 OVC) at 5:30 p.m.
TSU currently sits in third place in the OVC rankings and have won five straight including a 70-54 win over Southeast Missouri, Thursday night. With the win, the Lady Tigers will host the first round of the 2009 Ohio Valley Conference Championship against an opponent who will be announced later. It will be the first in the history of the program since joining the OVC.
TSU is led by Kendra Appling (17.8 ppg), Tiffany Jackson (15.8 ppg) and Jasmine Smith (11.1 ppg). Smith also leads the team in rebounds with 10.2 per game.
Both teams met earlier this season with the Panthers taking the 83-45 win in Lantz Arena on December, 4, 2008. The Panthers hold the series, 17-10, and have won nine of their last 10 games with their last defeat coming to Murray State, 89-64. EIU bounced back, beating Austin Peay, 69-56, on Thursday night.
OVC's number two ranked EIU is 6-7 on the road this year and led in scoring by Rachel Galligan (16.6 ppg) and Ellen Canale (10.9 ppg).
TSU defends home court posting a 10-1 record in the Gentry Center this season. If the Lady Tigers defeat the Panthers, there will be a tie for second in the conference and a coin toss will determine the seed for the OVC Championship beginning, Tuesday, March 3rd.
Following the women's game, the Tigers (11-17, 8-9 OVC) will look to extend their five game win streak and fight for a possible sixth seed in the conference.
Both teams come in with identical conference records at 8-9, The Tigers hold the series against EIU, 22-17, but dropped their first conference game of the season to the Panthers (12-16, 8-9 OVC) in December, 71-61.
TSU picked up the victory their last time out against Southeast Missouri, 87-82, on Wednesday and are led in scoring by Gerald Robinson, Jr. (17.5 ppg), Jerrell Houston (13.8 ppg) and Darius Cox (10.3 ppg).
EIU has dropped five of their last six games including a 69-54 loss to Austin Peay Thursday night. The Panthers' last win was over Western Michigan, 59-57, in the ESPNU BracketBusters.
For the first round of the OVC Championship, the Tigers will travel to play possible opponents, determined on the outcome of conference games, Austin Peay, Morehead State, or Murray State, Tuesday, March 3rd. Tip-off time will be announced.