Tigers jump start 2011 at Memphis
Saturday, January 1, 2011


Nashville, Tenn. - Coming off their first loss in six games, the Tennessee State University Tigers will bring in 2011 on the road at AP No. 21 Memphis.

The match-up is slated for Sunday, Jan. 2, at the FedEx Forum at 2 p.m. and will be televised live through the region on SportSouth.

The TSU Tigers (6-7) will meet the Tigers of the University of Memphis after 20 years. TSU dropped a 99-74 decision in 1990 and has not picked up a win against Memphis, trailing the series, 7-0.

TSU is fueled by a balanced offensive attack with four of five starters averaging in double figures.

Kenny Moore posts a team best in points (13.7 ppg) and rebounds (7.8 rpg) with Robert Covington following in both categories with 13.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Covington was named OVC Player of the Week on Monday for his double-double performance in the win over Eastern Kentucky.

Wil Peters, with an OVC best .477 in three-point shooting, is averaging 11.3 points and a team-high, 4.1 assists per game. Patrick Miller rounds out the bunch with 11.2 ppg and leads the team in minutes on the floor with 34.5 per game.

In their last time on the court, Miller tied a career high, 16 points, and Peters recorded a game/career best with nine assists in TSU's 65-58 loss at Middle Tennessee State. Jacquan Nobles added 12 points and is the top scorer off the bench with 7.3 ppg. The loss snapped TSU's five-game win streak; the longest under John Cooper.

Memphis (10-2) is led by Wesley Witherspoon (13.5 ppg), Wil Barton (12.3 ppg) and Joe Jackson (11.2 ppg) and enters after an 88-70 win at home over Lipscomb on Thursday. Witherspoon scored a season-high 28 points, playing in less than three weeks removed from knee surgery. Barton scored 15 and Jackson chipped in 13 points. As a unit, Memphis shot 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from the arc.

Witherspoon (First Team), also the team's top rebounder with 5.4 rpg, and Barton (Second Team) were named C-USA preseason selections after Witherspoon was named to the third team at the end of the 2009-10 season.

Memphis holds a 9-1 record at home suffering their first loss at the FedEx Forum to Georgetown, 86-69, on Dec. 23. Their losses on the season come from top ranked teams with the other defeat coming by the hands of Kansas, 81-68, at Madison Square Garden.

Next, TSU will continue Ohio Valley Conference play when they travel to Murray State. The match-up is scheduled for Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the CFSB Center.