COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tennessee State came off the deck to post a big Ohio Valley Conference road victory Saturday night, shocking host Tennessee Tech by a 72-63 score.
The Tigers, who entered the game coming off a tough setback on Thursday night to Eastern Kentucky, responded with the victory to hand Tech just its fourth loss in 13 conference outings. TSU improves to 7-10 overall and 6-5. Tech falls to 14-7 and 9-4.
"This was a breakthrough game for our team to defeat an upper division team on the road," said TSU coach Cy Alexander. "Coming back from a disappointing loss, our team displayed toughness and poise."
The Tigers had led EKU by as many as 20 points with less than eight minutes remaining. EKU came back to post a 79-64 win.
For TSU, senior forward Kareem Grant was again the big scoring star. Grant scored 31 points for the second consecutive game. Grant connected on 7-of-10 3-pointers as TSU shot 13-of-22 from 3-point range as a team. Reiley Ervin scored all 11 of his points, and Clarence Matthews supplied a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers led 32-29 at half and built as much as a 15-point lead, before Tech rallied to pull to within three points at 60-57 with 2:17 left. Ervin's 3-point expanded the lead back to six and the Tigers were able to concert from the free throw line.
Belton Rivers led Tech's late comeback, scoring all 18 of his points in a four-minute span.