MARTIN, Tenn. --- Tennessee State carried a 10-point lead into halftime, but host Tennessee-Martin went to the free throw line 50 times, making 34 en route to a 71-68 victory over the Tigers Thursday night.
The Tigers were in apparent control of the contest, but the tempo of the game was set quickly in the second half as the Skyhawks began to the free throw quickly and often. At one point to start the half, the Skyhawks had attempted 23 free throws to TSU's two. UTM finished the second half with 42 attempts while the Tigers had 12 shots.
UTM had opened a 66-56 lead with under a minute to play before the Tigers were able to cut the difference to three points. TSU had enjoyed as much as 13-point lead in the opening half.
Kareem Grant led the Tigers with 24 points, 20 coming in the opening half. Grant was one of four Tigers along with Clarence Matthews, Larry Tuner, and Wayne Arnold who fouled out. Reiley Ervin scored 14 points and Andrae Belton 11 for TSU.
The Skyhawks managed just 7-of-13 field goals in the second half, with 30 of the team's 45 second half points coming at the lone. Jared Newson led UTM with 25 points.