The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team got its first Ohio Valley Conference win of the season as they took down Tennessee Tech University 64-56 at Gentry Center, Thursday night.
The Tigers (4-18, 1-6 OVC) outlasted the Golden Eagles (10-12, 2-7 OVC) for the night. After building as much as a 13-point lead, TSU never let TTU get closer than eight points.
With the TSU win, the all-time series now stands at 29-28 with Tech still ahead.
Jay Harris was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points on 6-for-14 shooting. He also had five rebounds and three assists on the game. Charles Tucker gave the Tigers a pair of double-digit scorers, with 11 (3-for-6) while adding in three boards and two dimes.
Torrance Rowe paced the Golden Eagles with 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting.
Christian Mekowulu sparked the Tigers’ offense out of the gate, scoring the first six points of the game. Both teams proceeded to trade the lead multiple times for the next 17 minutes.
The Tigers made their move after the final media timeout of the first half as they began to pull away from the Golden Eagles. Each team had led by only one possession, when they had the lead, until TSU pushed their advantage to as high as 11.
The Tigers took a 32-22 lead into the locker room.
The Tigers were impressive in the first half, shooting 43 percent (13-for-30) while also forcing nine Golden Eagle turnovers. TSU held their opponents to 36 percent (9-for-25) from the floor and 15 percent (2-for-13) from beyond the arc. Jay Harris put up a cool 11 points during the first 20 minutes.
TSU continued to hold TTU at arm’s length through the first 12 minutes of the second half. At the 8:30 mark, the Tigers led the Golden Eagles 53-40 thanks to 60 percent shooting (9-of-15), up to that point.
Big Blue, after losing leads in multiple games this season, closed out this game with authority. The defense held Tech to 39 percent shooting for the game while forcing 17 turnovers.
All but one player who touched the floor for TSU scored four, or more, points.
The Tigers will look to turn this win into momentum for the coming games. They wrap-up this three-game home stand with a game this Saturday night against Jacksonville State. Tip-time is at 7:30 p.m.