Lady Tigers Host, Tigers Travel in First Round of OVC Tournament.
Monday, March 2, 2009

TSU Basketball set for Post-Season Play

Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men and women's basketball programs will continue their quest for the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in first-round action of the 2009 OVC Basketball Championship on Tuesday, March 3rd.

The Lady Tigers enter the tournament as the third seed with the Tigers ranked sixth. This marks the tenth season both men and women's basketball programs have made an appearance together in the OVC post season tourney.

The Lady Tigers (17-12, 13-5 OVC) will host sixth-seed Southeast Missouri in the Gentry Center at 7 p.m. while the Tigers  (12-17, 9-9 OVC) travel to Murray, Ky. to face number three seed Murray State for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.

The Lady Tigers' first round match-up is the first playoff game for TSU at the Gentry Center since joining the OVC in 1986. 

The meeting will be the first post season game between TSU and SEMO. This season, the Lady Tigers swept the Redhawks defeating them at the Shoe Me Center, 59-55, on December 6, 2008 before picking up the win last Thursday inside the Gentry Center, 70-54.

The Lady Tigers are 6-7 in OVC post-season play winning their last tournament game against Middle Tennessee State, 82-79, in 1999.

TSU has captured two OVC Championship (1994 and 1995) titles in women's basketball while going into this year's tournament with their first winning record since 1994. 

Last year, the Lady Tigers made a tournament appearance after a two-year absence losing to Eastern Illinois in the first round.

TSU is coming of a regular season loss which ended a five-game win streak to the OVC number two seed Eastern Illinois, 89-79. The Lady Tigers are led in scoring by Kendra Appling (17.8 ppg), Tiffany Jackson (15.9 ppg) and Jasmine Smith (11.1 ppg).

The Redhawks (15-14, !0-8 OVC) dropped their last two games of the regular season including an overtime loss to fifth seed Austin Peay, 80-74, on Saturday. SEMO holds the series record, 22-16, are anchored by Tarina Nixon (12.5 ppg), Sonya Daughtery (12.4 ppg) and Crysta Glenn (10.2 ppg).

The Tigers will look to avenge two losses earlier this season when they match-up with the Racers at the Regional Special Events Center.

TSU is enters the tournament on a six-game win streak, the longest streak since the Tigers' since won 1993-1994 OVC Championship. In their last time out, TSU defeated Eastern Illinois, 83-63, to cap the regular season.

This will be the sixth consecutive OVC tourney apearance for the Tigers posting a 10-18 OVC Tournament record.

Last season the Tigers beat Morehead State, 68-61, and Murray State, 83-75, on their way to the OVC Championship game losing to Austin Peay, 82-64.

The Tigers will face Murray State for the second time in the post season and are powered by Gerald Robinson, Jr. (17.6 ppg), Jerrell Houston (14.0 ppg) and Darius Cox (10.8 ppg).

The Racers (18-11, 13-5 OVC) beat TSU in both regular season outings, 88-58  (2/4/09) , inside the Gentry Center and 75-71  (1/8/09) at the Reigonal Special Events Center.

MSU is on a seven-game win streak winning eight of their last nine including a 70-65 overtime win over fifth seed Eastern Kentucky. Danero Thomas (12.2 ppg), Isacc Miles (10.4 ppg) and Ivan Aska (10.1 ppg) lead MSU in scoring.

With wins, TSU basketball can advance to the semi-finals and final round of the tournament held in the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday, March 6. The women's games be held at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. with the men's games slated for a 6 p.m. and 8 p.m tip-off.