TSU opens OVC basketball campaign

Kesi Hess scored a career-high 19 points against
EIU. photo: Tennessee State Athletics

Men’s Basketball:

Patrick Miller had a career-high 28 points and the Tennessee State University men’s basketball team defeated Eastern Illinois 67-59 in the squad’s first Ohio Valley Conference game of the season played Dec. 29 in Gentry Center. Miller made his first four shots and finished a perfect 11-of-11 from the charity stripe. Kellen Thornton and Jordan Cyphers also finished in double-figures for Tennessee State (7-7, 1-0 OVC) with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Thornton had a game-high 10 rebounds for his third double double of the season.

The win moved Big Blue’s home record to 5-0 and 26-4 through the last four seasons. The matchup was the first conference game of the season for both teams. TSU was outscored 35-40 during the second half against EIU, but Miller’s 20 points in period two allowed the Tigers to move to .500.

Defeating USC-Upstate on Dec. 21 to improve to 6-7, the Tigers made a season-high 10 three-pointers with Jordan Cyphers notching a season-high 22 points in a 67-64 win over the Spartans. The TSU men’s basketball team got to .500 for the first time all season when the squad hosted Eastern Illinois.

Robert Covington missed his second consecutive game with an injury to his right knee. The diagnosis is officially a tear to his meniscus, which will cause him to miss 4-6 weeks. The last time that Covington did not start consecutive games was Nov. 30, 2009.

TSU traveled to Tennessee Tech on Jan. 3 for the team’s second conference game of the season. They play at Jacksonville State on January 5. The Tigers then have a three game home stand against UT Martin on Thursday, Jan. 10; SEMO on Saturday, Jan. 12; and Jacksonville State on Thursday, Jan. 17. They play at Belmont on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Women’s Basketball:

After a short break for the Christmas holiday, the TSU women’s basketball team returned to the court against Eastern Illinois University in the first Ohio Valley Conference action of the season on Dec. 29. That evening, Tennessee State dropped its Ohio Valley Conference opener to Eastern Illinois 76-67 in women’s basketball action at the Gentry Center. TSU’s last win over EIU was a 67-62 decision in the Gentry Center on Dec.9, 2006.

Tennessee State (4-7, 0-1 OVC) was coming off a 69-60 win over Lipscomb University on the road. TSU had dropped three straight before knocking off their cross-town opponents. TSU is now 1-3 at home this season. Kesi Hess had a career-high 19 points on five-of-seven shooting from three, but it wasn’t enough as EIU (5-6, 1-0 OVC) shot 58% from the field. TSU faced Louisville in non-conference action on the road to close out the year on Dec. 31 before returning to OVC play at Jacksonville State on Saturday, Jan. 5 and at Tennessee Tech on Monday, Jan. 7. They host SEMO on Monday, Jan. 14 and visit Belmont on Saturday, Jan. 19.