The Tennessee State men’s basketball team had its five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Morehead State 74-64 in the ESPNU OVC Game of the Week Thursday night.
Early on, the Tigers had no answer for Alex Gross as the Olivet Nazarene graduate transfer scored 11 of the Eagles’ first 15 points as part of a 9-0 run to put Morehead State out in front 15-10.
The Eagles defense was able to limit the Tigers’ offense to just 32.1 percent from the floor in the first half, as Tennessee State was down by as many as thirteen points on multiple occasions. Tennessee State could only muster 24 points in the opening half and found themselves in a ten-point deficit, 34-24 at halftime.
After going scoreless in the first half, Tennessee State’s leading scorer Jr. Clay got his first points of the game at the 17:26 mark of the half that, cut the Morehead State lead to 36-31. Clay would finish the night with 9 points. TSU would tie the game at 38 on a Christian Brown dunk that came from a feed from Marcus Fitzgerald Jr. Tennessee State would tie the game on two other occasions — at 44 and 50 apiece — on Dedric Boyd 3-pointers. Boyd connected on his first eight attempts from downtown and finished with 28 points.
As Tennessee State was in the midst of its comeback, Morehea State guard Mark Freeman was in the middle of a personal 10-0 run that put the Eagles back in front 54-50.
Morehead State would extend the lead to double digits on a 3-pointer from Jake Wolfe at the 5:48 mark of the half. Tennessee would draw to within six on a Dedric Boyd jump shot but only converted on one more field goal over the remaining 2:13 seconds of the contest. A late technical foul on TSU coach Brian Collins, which was his second of the game — combined with a Justin Williams foul on Branded Maughmer — led to four Eagle free throws.
Freeman and Alex Gross led four Morehead State players with 19 points each. Jake Wolfe and Brenden Maughmer each chipped in w, with 12 points of theirs. With the win, Morehead State’s magic number to clinch at least a share of the OVC regular season crown drops to one game.
Dedric Boyd led Tennessee State with 28 points on 10-of-13 from the field and 8-of-9 from downtown.
With the loss, Tennessee State falls to 16-12 overall and 8-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference, which drops the Tigers from a tie for second place to a three-way tie for third.
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