NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State used a late second half surge to erase a double-digit deficit en route to recording the Tigers' second consecutive victory to open Ohio Valley Conference play, a 60-48 decision over Samford Saturday evening.
The Tigers were trailing 40-28, but got back into the game with three consecutive 3-point field goals to cut the deficit to three points. Senior reserve guard Brandon Lockridge came off the bench to hit a pair while sophomore Adrian Pritchett made one to swing the momentum.
TSU took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Roshaun Bowens to make the score 43-42 with 7:56 remaining. The Tigers led 52-48 after a Samford field goal by Josh Hare with 3:46 remaining. However, the Tigers would not allow a point the rest of the way while sealing the game with six free throws by Bruce Price and a pair from Garrett Richardson.
"I want to commend most of all our players for not quitting," said first-year TSU coach Cy Alexander. "They learned a little bit on how to fight and believe in themselves. We are very happy right now."
With the win, TSU is off to a 2-0 start for the first time in OVC play since the 1994-95 season.
TSU placed four players in double figures. Roshaun Bowens led the way with 18 points, while Price finished with 13. Richardson and Pritchett each scored 10.
"Coach emphasized that (OVC play) is a new season," said Bowens. "We didn't quit when we were down by double digits and we come back to win like we did. It shows that good things can happen when you don't give up."
The Tigers committed just seven turnovers in the game compared to Samford's 20. TSU had entered the game as the OVC leader in turnover ratio.
TSU improves to 3-10 overall. Samford, the second first-year member for TSU to start conference play, falls to 6-7 and 1-1.