The Tigers trailed 43-31 with 12:38 left in the game, but used a few crucial plays down the stretch, including a jump by Jay Harris to put the Tigers within one, 49-48, with 2:31 left.
In the final minute, Wil Peters picked up a rebound off a missed SIUE triple. On the next offensive possession Patrick Miller drove through the lane, made the basket and picked up the plus-one. His make combined with a Robert Covington free throw gave the Tigers the 52-49 win.
TSU (10-9, 3-3 Ohio Valley) won their sixth consecutive home game over an OVC opponent and improved to 18-3 at the Gentry Center during the past two seasons. The Tigers shot 43 percent (21-of-49) from the field, while out-rebounding SIUE (5-10, 3-3 OVC) 40-to-27. TSU shot 52 percent (13-of-25) in the second half.
Covington led the Tigers with 17 points and eight rebounds for his 18th straight double-digit game. The junior from Bellwood, Ill., was 7-of-15 from the field, while notching an assist and steal.
Sophomore Patrick Miller connected on 6-of-7 from the field, scoring 14 points in the victory. The Chicago product had three assists, a block and a steal in 31 minutes.
Setting a new career-high in rebounds was M.J. Rhett. The redshirt freshman grabbed 11 boards and scored six points in 27 minutes.
Wil Peters tied a career-high with nine rebounds, all from the defensive glass. The Nashville product dished out a team-best four assists, while collecting two steals in 36 minutes. Forward Kellen Thornton added seven points in 17 minutes played.
At the end of the first half, SIUE held a 24-17 lead with the Cougars shooting 30 percent (7-of-23) from the field. TSU was just 33 percent (8-of-24) shooting in the first half. Covington led the Tigers with six points, while Rhett had eight rebounds.
TSU jumped out to a 6-1 advantage, but SIUE proceeded on a 9-to-4 run to pull within one. SIUE broke out to a 15-10 lead with 6:40 remaining in the first half.
The low scoring first half, was helped when SIUE connected on a triple from Corey Wickware to up by nine at the half.
SIUE extended in the second half to 14 with a triple by Wickware. The Tigers fought back on a 21-6 run to end the contest.
Covington's dunk at 4:30 helped the Tigers pull within three, 47-44. Harris knocked down a jumper at 2:31 to put the Tigers within one.
Miller connected on a three-point opportunity, while making a basket and picking up the freebie. His make combined with Covington's made free throw to seal the 52-49 win.
Tennessee State travels to in-state rival Austin Peay on Monday for a 7:30 p.m. contest at the Dunn Center.
-- TSU TIGERS --