MURRAY, Ky. --- Tennessee State made a late comeback attempt, but the Tigers were unable to come back all the way in dropping a 75-67 decision at preseason Ohio Valley Conference favorite Murray State on Thursday night.
After trailing by as many as 18 points with seven minutes remaining, the Tigers climbed back into contention and cut the deficit to four points (71-67) with 49 seconds remaining. However, Murray State was able to close the game with a 4-0 run on free throws.
The Tigers came out of the gates slow as the home-standing Racers built a 36-26 halftime lead.
"I thought we came out tentative and Murray State did a good job with its defensive pressure," said Tigers' head coach Cy Alexander. "Also, we had too many turnovers and one of our goals was to be successful at the free throw line which we were not tonight."
The Tigers had 19 turnovers in the contest. In addition, TSU shot 58 percent (14-of-24) from the free throw line.
The game featured 50 fouls called. TSU lost three starters to fouls in forwards Kareem Grant and Clarence Matthews and center Larry Turner.
Guard Reiley Ervin led four Tigers in double figures with 16 points. Wayne Arnold scored 13 while Courtney Bohannon came off the bench to tally a career-high 11 points. Turner also had 11 points and tied Matthews with six rebounds.
Shawn Witherspoon led the Racers (7-4, 4-1 OVC) with 16 points as MSU also placed four players in double figures.
The Tigers return home to host Tennessee-Martin Saturday night in the Gentry Center.