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Second Half Comeback Propels TSU Over Hornets
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Second Half Comeback Propels TSU Over Hornets

Dover, Del. - For the second consecutive game, Tennessee State made a comeback in the second half to pick up a 59-55 victory over Delaware State on Saturday evening.

The Tigers trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, but kept fighting and tied the game on six occasions. TSU used an 8-3 run in the in the final four-plus minutes of regulation to take a lead they would never relinquish.

Delaware State (4-6) fought back to pull within two with 12 seconds remaining, but Tennessee State (5-6) completed the victory with two made free throws.

The Tigers connected on 10-of-19 field goals in the second half for a total of 39 percent (18-of-46) for the game. TSU had the slight edge in rebounds, picking up 32 to Delaware's 29. Defensively, the Tigers stole the ball five times and collected four blocks.

TSU forward Robert Covington scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 10 boards, including eight off the defensive glass. The double-double was his 13th of his career and the 10th consecutive game the junior had reached double-digits. The Bellwood, Ill., product also swatted away two shots and dished out an assist. He also made 8-of-11 field goal attempts for a stout 73 percent.

Patrick Miller was the only other Tiger to reach double-figures, scoring 11 points and pulling in six rebounds. The sophomore inked his eight straight double-digit game and dished out two assists in 33 minutes of action.

Senior guard Wil Peters narrowly missed double-digits with eight points and four rebounds. He tallied a team-high three assists, while picking up a block and steal.

The two squads went back and forth through the first nine minutes of the contest as Delaware State took a 10-8 lead with 11:48 left in the half.

DSU's Casey Walker drained a triple at 7:15 to put the Hornets up 17-12. The Hornets extended their lead to 27-17 with 1:57 remaining.

The Tigers fought back with a two-point basket and a plus-one from Patrick Miller. Philadelphia native Jay Harris added a free throw to narrow TSU's deficit to 27-21 at the half. Harris completed the game with a career-high four points in front of many of his family members in attendance.

For the half, TSU was held to 30 percent from the field, making 8-of-27 attempts. DSU shot 44 percent (12-of-27). Miller led the Tigers with six points, while Covington grabbed seven boards in the first frame.

To start the second half, the Tigers fought their way back, going on a 9-5 run to pull within 32-30. DSU followed up with a five-point run to extend their lead.

Covington added a pair of triples and three baskets in the first 10-plus minutes of action, which helped the Tigers tie the game at 43 with 9:11 on the clock.

Peters connected on a pair of freebies to give the Tigers the 45-43 edge. From that point on the Tigers added six more points to extend their advantage to 53-47 with 3:23 left in the game.

Delaware State fought back to pull within two (55-57) with 12 second remaining. Jordan Cyphers was fouled on the in-bound pass and made two free throws to secure the win for the Tigers. Cyphers finished with five points in 17 minutes for the Tigers.

From the free throw line, TSU knocked down 18-of-25 attempts and were 5-of-14 from 3-point range.

The Tigers return to the Gentry Center on Monday with a contest against Memphis-based LeMoyne-Owen College. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.