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TSU to Face Cross-Town Rival Lipscomb on Monday
Sunday, November 17, 2013
TSU to Face Cross-Town Rival Lipscomb on Monday


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team will host its first home contest of the season on Monday at 7 p.m. against the Bisons of Lipscomb.

TSU (0-4) will certainly welcome the brief road reprieve, as the Tigers have fallen to four teams that made the postseason a year ago, including Saturday’s, 85-71, defeat by Wichita State, a team that made the Final Four in 2012-13.

While the Tigers dropped its fourth straight game to start the season, something they had not done since 2009, the team did show marked improvement even while facing its stiffest competition in the nation’s No. 16 ranked team.

TSU’s offense had its finest output of the young campaign against the Shockers, setting new season highs in points, field goal percentage (.448), three-pointers made (4), free throws (15) and free throw attempts (24).

Those numbers are a big jump for a team that entered Saturday scoring 54 points per game, shooting 35.4 percent and having made just 31 freebies in its first three contests.

The Tigers also boasted three players who scored in double figures for the first time all season against WSU in Patrick Miller (23), M.J. Rhett (16) and Jaleel Queary (10).

Queary’s total on 4-of-8 shooting is especially important to a team that is searching for a third scoring option to Miller, who leads the Ohio Valley Conference with an average of 21.3 points per game and Rhett’s 10.8.

The Tigers have another reason to be excited about coming home, as they are 33-6 at home during the last three seasons and have won 21 out of their last 24 contests in their home arena.

TSU was 11-2 at home in 2012-13 which matched the team’s record for home wins in a season while playing in the Gentry Center.

TSU’s opponent on Monday will not have to travel far as the Tigers will play host to the cross-town rival Lipscomb Bisons (1-2).

The Bisons have only had one home contest of their own so far this season, but the squad still has not left Nashville. Lipscomb opened the season with an, 87-83, loss at Belmont and fell at Vanderbilt, 80-69, on Friday.

The Bisons have incredible balance as they currently have five players who average in double figures in Carter Sanderson (15.7 points per game), J.C. Hampton (15.3), Khion Sankey (13), Martin Smith (12.3) and Malcolm Smith (12.3).

Lipscomb is a great three-point shooting team, converting on 35.2 percent of its attempts, but not as efficient at the free throw line, canning just 60.9 percent.

The squad is also plus-5.7 in rebounds per contest, but has turned the ball over 44 times in only three games played.

TSU is 1-2 all-time against Lipscomb, but the sides have not met since the 2002-03 season, a, 97-85, Bisons victory.

Tennessee State will go for its first victory of the season on Monday with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.