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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men's basketball team is hoping the third time is the charm when the Tigers play the Samford Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the 2006 O'Reilly Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament. For the second year in a row, the Tigers have finished in fifth place in the OVC and have come out of the tie as the seventh seed heading into the tournament. The Tigers secured a winning record in the OVC at 11-9 and will be going against a Bulldog team which clinched the second season. The Tigers will be looking for a complete game against the Bulldog. In the first meeting in Birmingham, the Tigers trailed by one only to fall 68-48. In the second game, TSU led by one at the half, but Samford was able to prevail 64-54. However, the Tigers will be entering the postseason as one of the OVC's hotter teams. TSU has won five of its last six games, including three consecutive on the road for the first time in head coach Cy Alexander's tenure at TSU. Junior forward Clarence Matthews was named OVC Newcomer of the Week for the fourth time. The Tigers are the only teams to have three different players named OVC Player of the Week during the course of the season in Matthews, Kareem Grant, and Wayne Arnold. Matthews leads the OVC in rebounding at 8.7 a game and averages 13.8 ppg. Grant averages 16.5 ppg and Arnold 13.7. Samford finished its season with a 14-6 OVC record. However, the Bulldogs begin tournament play, having lost four of their last six. The winner will advance to the Gaylord Entertainment Center for Friday's semifinal game. ************************************************************* Tickets for the game are $10. You may purchase tickets at the game or call the Samford Ticket Office at (205) 726-2966. If you are planning on traveling to the game, Click here for directions to Samford University.