Winner Southeast Mo. St. 17-16,10-8 OVC
Tennessee St. 18-14,10-8 OVC
|Southeast Mo. St.||35||56||91|
The Tennessee State men’s basketball team looked less like the team that recently won 7 of 8 Ohio Valley Conference game and more like the squad that laid an egg in the season finales against Souther Indiana , as they fell to SEMO, 91-83 in the quarterfinal of the OVC Tournament,
TSU was hampered bu turnovers, the 9 they committed turned into 14 SEMO points, and poor shooting in the first half and an inability to defend without fouling in the second half , SEMO shot 42 free throws in the second half , were the primary factors that ended the Tigers’ time in Evansville.
Southeast Missouri led for most of the contest’s opening 15 minutes with Tennessee State only managing to tie the game early at both 5 and 7 apiece. David Acosta and Dedric Boyd combined for a 9-0 run that put the Tigers in front 29-26 with 5:21 left in the half. SEMO answered back , outscoring TSU 9-2 for the rest of the half to take a 35-31 lead headed into halftime.
Although the Redhawks only shot 40% in the second half, they were able to control the pace of the game, and more importantly get into the bonus. Tennessee State committed their seventh foul of the half 13:06, from that point on SEMO shot free throws on any TSU foul. Using this to their advantage, SEMO made 42 trips to the charity stripe, converting 34 of them.Although the Tigers shot 25 free throws of their own in the second half, hitting 17 of them, their inability to guard without fouling stymied any potential run, as many key defensive posesstions turned into free throws, and often points, for the Redhawks.
TSU played up hill for the entirety of the second half, and even drawing to within 6 at 81-75 late in the contest, but Tennessee State was simply unable to put enough clean defesnive possessions together to help fuel a run to get back in the game. For the half TSU shot just 39.5% from the floor and a frigid 14% from downtown; overall the Tigers shot 39.5% and 22.2% from the three point land, both of which are amongst their lowest shooting percentages over the last 8 games,
Despite Jr Clay going 18:03 seconds between his last score of the first half (9:11) and his first score of the second half (11:52) , he led Tennessee State with 34 points and adding 11 rebounds; Dedric Boyd was the only other Tiger in double figures with 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Time will reveal if their season resume is strong enough to earn a spot in one of the myriad of postseason tournaments.