TSU Outlasts EKU in 91-85 Double OT Thriller
Sunday, January 29, 2012
TSU Outlasts EKU in 91-85 Double OT Thriller
Nashville, Tenn. - Fans enjoyed a thrilling contest on Saturday evening, which saw 19 lead changes, as Tennessee State battled and captured a 91-85 double-overtime victory over Eastern Kentucky Saturday evening at the Gentry Center.

TSU (13-10, 6-4 Ohio Valley) trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half before making a late surge. Eastern Kentucky (12-11, 5-5 OVC) built a five point lead in regulation with 2:44 left, but the Tigers never stopped. TSU used a Kenny Moore three pointer and a Jordan Cyphers layup to tie the game at 67.

From there, EKU's Mike DiNunno inked one of his seven three-pointers to regain the lead. TSU fought back with three free throws to tie the game, 70-70. TSU led on three occasions in the first OT period, but EKU knotted it up with free throws.

In the second overtime, the Tigers used a layup from M.J. Rhett and two free throws from Patrick Miller to take the go-ahead lead. Saturday's win gave TSU a 19-3 mark at home during the past two seasons and extended the home winning streak to seven games over OVC opponents.

Five Tigers reached double-figures as TSU shot 48 percent (31-of-64) for the game. The Tigers out-rebounded EKU 37-to-34 and dished out 18 assists, while recording 11 steals.

Robert Covington notched a team-best 22 points and eight points. The Bellwood, Ill., product dished out two assists, swatted away two shots and stole two passes in 40 minutes played.

Moore had 15 points, two assists and a career-high five steals against EKU. Kellen Thornton added 14 points, knocking down 6-of-7 from the field.

Rhett managed a season-best 11 points and five rebounds with an assist and a block. Also making 11 was sophomore Patrick Miller. The Chicago native tied a career-high with eight rebounds, making four assists and totaling three steals.

Wil Peters added nine points and five assists, while Cyphers scored seven in 20 minutes. EKU's DiNunno and Jaron Jones finished with 33 and 30 points, respectively.

The Tigers trailed by six, 38-32, to EKU in the first half. The Colonels shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field. TSU was held to 44 percent, knocking down 12 out of 27 shots. Thornton led the Tigers with 10 points and three rebounds.

Tennessee State and Eastern Kentucky battled back and forth with both teams trading baskets in the first 10 minutes. EKU used a triple and layup by Jones to take a 21-17 lead with 8:35 on the clock.

TSU reset the game at 24-24, but the Colonels again used a triple and a basket to stretch the advantage at five.

To close the half, Eastern Kentucky used a 14-to-8 run, taking a 38-32 lead in the locker room.  

Keeping the iron hot, EKU extended their lead to 12 until TSU roared in a comeback to take a 54-48 advantage. EKU went back up and took a five point lead with less than three minutes remaining.

However, TSU used momentum to tie the game, 70-70, at the end of regulation. The Tigers battled with EKU in the first overtime, taking the lead three times. However, EKU managed to tie the game with a pair of free throws forcing a second frame.

In the final stanza, the Tigers used a six point run to close the game and pick up their third consecutive win.

On Monday, TSU welcomes rival Austin Peay for a 7 p.m. tip. The first 100 fans in attendance will receive a rally towel courtesy of Pepsi.