BIRMINGHAM --- For Tennessee State, the scene was too familiar against Samford University in the opening round of the 2006 Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament. The Tigers played the Bulldogs dead even in the opening half, but for the third time this season, Samford was able to pull away in the second half for a 78-67 victory.
The Tigers were tied at 34-34 at halftime, but Samford shot 52 percent in the second half while the Tigers were shooting 37.5 percent. After connecting on five 3-point field goals in the opening half, the Tigers were unable to convert from long range in the final half.
"The guys played really, really hard and it is a tough loss," said TSU head coach Cy Alexander. "The game was too much like the previous two as we had shots that did not fall in the second half while Samford was making shots."
TSU got 20-point performances from both Reiley Ervin and Wayne Arnold. The Tigers were in foul trouble during the game as both post players Clarence Matthews and Larry Turner fouled out. TSU concludes the season at 13-15.
J. Robert Merritt led the Bulldogs (19-10) with 22 points.