NASHVILLE --- For the second consecutive home game, the Tennessee State men's basketball team held a halftime lead only to see the visiting team come back in the second half for a win. Eastern Illinois accomplished the chore Thursday night, handing the Tigers an 88-75 setback.
The Tigers had come from nine points down in the first half to rally to take a 39-33 lead into the locker room against the Panthers, who features the nation's third leading Division I scorer in Henry Domercant. TSU shot 52 percent in the first half and held Domercant to 11-points.
In the second half, the Tigers were holding a 49-45 lead following Roshaun Bowens' layup at the 12:26 mark. However, after that point things would go sour for the Tigers. EIU went on a 19-0 run before the Tigers would score again on a 3-pointer by Josh Cooperwood with 6:48 left.
The Tigers would cut the lead to as close as seven the rest of the way, before EIU would again pull away to a double-digit advantage.
Domercant almost tallied his seasonal average in the second half alone, scoring 24 of his game-high 35 points in the final 20 minutes. J.R. Reynolds contributed 20.
Cooperwood led the Tigers with 23 points while Garrett Richardson scored 19, and Bowens added 17. Brandon Lockridge came off the bench to tally 11.
The Tigers will close the season against Southeast Missouri at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Gentry Center. EIU, fighting for a home court berth in the OVC Tournament, plays the same day at Tennessee Tech.)