Tigers Rally to Defeat Miami RedHawks, 68-61
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Tigers Rally to Defeat Miami RedHawks, 68-61

Oxford, Ohio - Tennessee State used an 11-0 run late in the game to seal a 68-61 victory over Miami (Ohio) in the annual Sears BracketBusters game on Sunday afternoon at Millett Hall.

Miami (8-17) built a 12 point lead in the second half, but Tennessee State (19-10) started firing back. Wil Peters hit a trey at 9:50 to help the Tigers pull within two. From there, TSU would tie the game on the next possession.

The Tigers took a 53-51 lead after Peters hit another trey with five minutes left. Miami took a brief 54-53 lead, but TSU used part of an 11-0 run in the final 3:44 to take the go-ahead lead.

Tennessee State extended its' win streak to nine games - the longest since the 1994-95 season. TSU forced 14 Miami turnovers, scoring 15 points in the process. TSU out-scored Miami 32-to-11 off the bench. The win also gave TSU a 4-2 all-time record in the BracketBusters.

From the field, the Tigers knocked down 46 percent (21-of-45), including 54 percent (13-of-24) in the second half. Miami was held to 37 percent (7-of-19) in the second half.

Four Big Blue student-athletes reached double-figures in the game. Robert Covington scored 14 points, shooting 4-of-8 from the field. Covington pulled in six rebounds, collected five steals, an assist and a block. Covington's six rebounds on Sunday gave him 662 in his career, moving him in 13th all-time in school history, passing Nico Childs (1987-91).

Patrick Miller scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half. Miller grabbed six boards and dished out three assists in 36 minutes.

Also adding 12 points was forward Kellen Thornton. The junior was 6-of-10 with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Jordan Cyphers notched 10 points, while Kenny Moore inked nine for the Tigers.

Tennessee State trailed by nine at the half, giving up 50 percent shooting (12-of-24) to Miami. The RedHawks were 7-of-13 behind the arch. TSU was held to 38 percent (8-of-21) and out-rebounded 18-to-9 in the opening frame.

Miami used five triples in the first eight minutes to open a 19-11 lead with 11:56 left in the first half. TSU rallied back within three after Kenny Moore made a basket and connected on an and-one.

The RedHawks used another triple and two inside baskets to maintain their lead to 30-25 with 3:07 left in the game.

At the halftime buzzer, Miami's Will Sullivan was fouled at the 3-point line. He made two-of-three attempts to extend the RedHawks lead to 35-26 at the break.

The RedHawks opened up to a double-digit lead, but the Tigers started to claw back. Patrick Miller connected on six straight points to help the Tigers pull within 45-41 as 10:29 remained on the clock.

Wil Peters hit a trey at 9:50 to put the Tigers within 46-44. Miami added two more points and TSU again pulled within added a bucket from Thornton.

The Tigers tied the game at 48. Peters' triple at 5:01 gave the Tigers the 53-51 lead. Miami battled to take a brief 54-53 advantage with 3:44 remaining.

Thornton added a basket underneath and Cyphers hit a triple on the next possession to give TSU the 58-54 lead with 2:12 left. From there TSU used a Cyphers dunk and another two-pointer from Thornton to seal a 68-61 win over Miami.

Tennessee State closes out the regular season with No. 14/16 Murray State on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Gentry Center. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.