NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State will play just its second home game of the season as the Tigers close 2005 by welcoming Middle Tennessee to the Gentry Center. The New Year's Eve contest will have a starting time of 2 p.m.
The Tigers make the return home with a misleading 2-5 overall record. The Tigers lost a tough one-point decision at Southeast Missouri to open Ohio Valley Conference play in December and have since lost at Georgia Tech (82-72), 20th-ranked Ohio State (74-65), and Iowa State (59-51) in their last outing on Dec. 28. TSU was in all three contests and had double digit leads both at Ohio State and Iowa State.
TSU will have a different look than its last appearance in the Gentry Center. Leading scorer Bruce Price is on the sidelines for the season with an ACL injury that occurred in the Ohio State game. The Middle Tennessee game will mark the first Gentry Center appearance of 6-11 Oklahoma transfer center Larry Turner.
Price was averaging 19.3 points per game at the time of his injury and also was regarded as the team's top outside defender. Turner has played three games and made his first start at Iowa State and has averaged 7.7 rebounds through three games.
Wayne Arnold entered the ISU game as the nation's third-ranked 3-point shooter. Arnold connected on 7-of-8 3-pointers at Ohio State, but Iowa State's defense limited the senior to a lone field goal.
The Tigers lost a tough two-point decision in a high-scoring affair at Middle Tennessee last season.
This season, the Blue Raiders are off to a 6-4 start with impressive wins under their belt. However, Middle Tennessee is coming off a disappointing 83-67 home loss to Austin Peay on Wednesday.
Fats Cuyler leads the Blue Raiders with a 14.0 ppg scoring average. Adam Vogelberg is close behind at 13.3 ppg.
TSU will jump into OVC play after the MTSU game as Morehead State will be in the Gentry Center for a holiday matchup on Monday.