Tennessee State hoops to face SIUE on ESPNews

Courtesy of Tennessee State Athletics

OPENING TIP: The first of nine OVC wild card televised games begins on Thursday evening as TSU travels to SIUE for a 6 p.m. tip on ESPNews, ESPN+ and Nashville airwaves 102.1 FM the Vile. TSU is coming off a New Year’s Eve win over Little Rock, 94-69, last Saturday at the Gentry.

WHERE TO WATCH & LISTEN: TSU expanded its partnership with Cromwell Media, naming 102.1 FM The Ville as the flagship TSU men’s basketball station. “The Voice of the Tigers” Greg Pogue returns for his 11th season behind the mic and will be reunited with his longtime partner Albert Dawson. The pregame show will begin 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the contest not the actual tip time in doubleheader situations. The action can also be heard on the TSU Tigers app.

The Matchup: Tennessee State Tigers (9-6, 1-1 OVC) at SIUE (10-5, 1-1 OVC)
Date/Time: Thursday, January 5 at 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: First Community Center || Edwardsville, Ill.
TV:  ESPNews — David Saltzman (pxp), Richie Schueler (analyst)
Radio102.1 FM The Ville — Greg Pogue (pxp), Albert Dawson (analyst)

SIUE SERIES INFORMATION: Thursday is the 18 meeting between TSU and SIUE. TSU leads 12-5 all-time against SIUE which dates back to 1971. Last season, TSU swept SIUE three times, twice in the regular season and then in the first round of the OVC Tournament in Evansville, 77-62. 

SCOUTING SIUE: The Cougars are coming off an 11-point road loss to Southeast Missouri last Saturday but has been one of the hotter teams in the St. Louis market after knocking off the Saint Louis Billikens, a team that defeated TSU 80-63 in late November. Ray’Sean Taylor leads the Cougars in scoring 14.3 points and had a season-best 23 points in the loss to SEMO last time out. Deejuan Pruitt is second in points 11.4 and first in rebounds 6.7. 

I’D LIKE TO DOUBLE SIZE THAT COMBO: Jr Clay and Marcus Fitzgerald Jr each scored 24 points in the win over Little Rock last Saturday. The guards knocked down 17-of-29 from the field and 8-of-18 from the outside. Clay added eight assists and three rebounds while Fitzgerald pulled down seven rebounds and three assists to give the Tigers their ninth win of the season. 

NYE = SHOOT YOUR SHOT NIGHT: TSU ended 2022 on a high note as the had its best shooting percentage performance of the season knocking down at a 58.9 percent clip from the field and a 56.0 percent from the outside. TSU’s 14-made three-pointers were the second most dropped triples this season behind 15 against Bryan on Dec. 17. 

PENNY’S 25: Last Saturday’s win over Little Rock was just the third time under the Penny Collins era that TSU blew out an OVC team by 25 or more points. The previous two times saw TSU defeat Tennessee Tech, 92-56, last season and then a 29-point victory (79-50) over SEMO on Feb. 2, 2019.

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