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Wednesday, January 21, 2004
NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State, the early season surprise in the 2004 Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball race begins a four-game homestand on Thursday night against the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks. The Lady Tigers get the evening's doubleheader action underway at 5:45 p.m. with the men's contest to follow. The Tigers are off to a 3-1 league start. TSU opened conference play with home wins over OVC newcomers Jacksonville State and Samford before splitting its first road trip last week, losing at Southeast Missouri and winning at Eastern Illinois. Under first-year head coach, the Tigers have snapped a 19-game OVC losing streak and with the win at EIU, broke a 13-game OVC road losing mark. In the EIU game, the Tigers erased a 12-point second half deficit to take a 60-59 victory. The Tigers will be facing a Tennessee-Martin team that has been hit hard by injuries. UT Martin last preseason All-OVC guard Earl Bullock with a knee injury early in the season and last week lost leading scorer Justin Smith for the season. TSU lost at Murray State on Tuesday by a 94-70 score. TSU will host Murray State on Saturday and then will host Austin Peay at Tennessee Tech in games next Thursday and Saturday.