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Tigers Snap Skid With 69-63 Win Over Eastern Kentucky
Saturday, January 3, 2009

Smith's Career-High Helps Lift Tigers Pass Colonels   

Nashville, Tenn. - Parker Smith scored a career-high 26 points, including six-of-nine from 3-point range, to help lead the Tigers (4-9,1-1) over Eastern Kentucky (7-6,1-2), 69-63, Saturday night inside the Gentry Center. The win snaps a five-game skid and gives TSU their second consecutive conference win.

Jerrell Houston scored 18 points (8-of-14) with seven rebounds, including 15 points in the second half, to help the Tigers hit a season-high 55 percent from the field. Gerald Robinson, Jr. scored 10 points and Jeremiah Crutcher dished out a career and game-high 11 assists.

TSU won the battle on the boards, 37-21, while the Tiger bench dominated EKU's reserves in scoring, 31-10. TSU finished hitting 62 percent from three-point range and shot 78 percent from the free-throw line.

The Tigers trailed by six in the first (13:30) before taking a 27-20 lead on a 20-7 run with 3:33 remaining in the half. Smith hit four-of-five from behind the arc while scoring 18 points before the break. TSU held the lead at halftime, 33-29.

The Tigers led 38-29 at the 15:44 mark in the second, but the Colonels capitalized on two lay-ups by Mike Smith and a three-point basket by Mike Rose to shrink the lead to one. Mike Rose finished with a game-high 31 points (11-of-20), including 5-of-10 three pointers.

After a see-saw battle which consisted of three ties and three lead changes, the Tigers trailed 54-53 with 4:36 remaining.  The Tigers answered EKU baskets shooting 60 percent from both the floor and behind the arc in the second. With 1:58 left, TSU held a tight 61-60 advantage and EKU was looking to make a run, however, Houston scored on three-straight possessions to help seal the win.

The Tigers will host the Eagles of Morehead State inside the Gentry Center, Monday, Jan. 5th. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.