Tigers Survive OT Scare from JSU, 69-64
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tigers Survive OT Scare from JSU, 69-64

Nashville, Tenn. - A three-pointer by Robert Covington sent the game into overtime and Tennessee State out-scored Jacksonville State by five to snatch a 69-64 win over the Gamecocks on Tuesday evening at the Gentry Center.

TSU (18-10, 11-4) overcame several deficits from JSU in the second half and managed a late run in the overtime period to extend its' win streak to eight games. The Tigers' 18th victory is the most since the 1993-94 season and the third most OVC regular season wins in program history.

The Tigers used a pair of triples to stay in the game. Covington hit a trey with 36 seconds left in regulation. Wil Peters added a triple at 1:30 in overtime to help TSU take the go-ahead basket.

From the field, the Tigers shot 44 percent (20-of-46). TSU knocked down six triples and hit 79 percent at the free throw line. JSU was held to under 40 percent, making 24-of-61 shots from the field.  

Covington led Tennessee State with 28 points and 12 rebounds in 41 minutes. The double-double was an OVC-best eighth of the season and the 18th of his career. The junior knocked down 10-of-18 attempts, while notching three blocks.

The 28 points moved Covington into 19th all-time in scoring at TSU, passing John Barnhill's (1955-59) mark of 1,253 points.

Peters added 10 points, dishing out four assists and pulling in three rebounds in 33 minutes. Kellen Thornton hit 3-of-5 attempts for 10 points and grabbed four rebounds.

In 22 minutes, Jordan Cyphers scored eight points, including six from the free throw line.

In the first half, the Gamecocks knocked down 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field. The Tigers were held to 45 percent (9-of-20), while making just one triple in three attempts. Covington led the Tigers with 10 points and four rebounds.

JSU opened up to a 15-11 advantage in the first eight-plus minutes of the game. The Gamecocks proceeded on a 7-to-1 run, stretching their lead to 21-12. TSU was held scoreless for 6:50 in the first half.

Tennessee State clawed back from a 10 point deficit to pull within 32-26 at the half.

JSU stretched their lead to 51-47. TSU went on an 11-to-7 run to tie the game. Covington knocked down a triple at 36 seconds to tie the game at 58-58.

In the overtime period, the Big Blue outscored the Gamecocks 11-to-6 in the extra period. TSU used a three-pointer from Peters and two more free throws to stretch their lead to 67-64 with just a minute remaining.

The Tigers travel to Miami (Ohio) for the Sears ESPN BracketBusters game on Sunday, Feb. 19. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.