NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State turned up its intensity in the second half to roll past visiting Eastern Illinois 73-59 in Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball play Saturday night.
The Tigers (6-9, 5-4 OVC) completed the season sweep of the Panthers and won their fourth consecutive OVC home game. EIU falls to 4-14 and 3-9.
"We did a good job in the second half of playing good defense on (Josh) Gomes and (Bobby) Catchings," said TSU head coach Cy Alexander. "I also thought we did a good job and played smart offensively as we got the ball inside."
Junior forward Clarence Matthews almost had a perfect night shooting the basketball. Matthews connected on 8-of-9 field goals and 12-of-13 from the free throw line on the way to scoring a career-high 28 points. Matthews had a double-double, adding a game-high 10 rebounds.
TSU also got double figure scoring from Kareem Grant with 15 points, 12 in the first half. Wayne Arnold connected on four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.
The Tigers led 41-32 at halftime and opened up a double digit lead for good after a Reiley Ervin field goal at the 13:28 mark. TSU held its largest lead of 18 points after a Matthews dunk at the 1:31 mark of the second half that made the score 72-54.
Gomes led the Panthers with 19 points, 11 coming in the first half. Catchings added 16, 10 coming in the first half.