Tennessee State men’s hoops to take on Southern Indiana in first round of OVC Tourney

title image via Tennesseee State Basketball

Courtesy of Stephen Featherston, Director of Communications, Tennessee State Athletics

OPENING TIP: The Tennessee State men’s basketball team will make its 32ndappearance in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament tomorrow evening as the Tigers will take on Southern Indiana in their first-round matchup at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. The Tigers enter this year’s tournament as the fifth seed while USI is the eighth seed.

The Matchup: 
Tennessee State Tigers (17-14, 10-8 OVC) vs. Southern Indiana (8-23, 5-13 OVC)
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 PM CT
Location: Ford Center || Evansville, Ind.
Radio: WNSR — Greg Pogue (play-by-play), Albert Dawson (analyst)

WHERE TO WATCH & LISTEN: Tune in to WNSR’s flagship network, which includes 560 AM, 95.9 FM (Nashville), and 107.9 FM (Smyrna), as well as WNSR.com, to catch TSU Basketball. The broadcast is also globally available on Sirius XM. WNSR will provide in-depth pregame coverage 15 minutes before tip-off, extensive postgame analysis, exclusive interviews with coaches and players, and behind-the-scenes content for deeper fan engagement. Greg Pogue, “The Voice of the Tigers,” returns for his 12th season, accompanied by Nashville broadcasting legend Albert Dawson. The action can also be streamed on the TSU Tigers app.

SERIES INFORMATION: This will be the 5th all-time meeting between the Tigers and the Screaming Eagles. The series is knotted up at 2-2 after the two teams split the regular season series. This will be the first matchup between TSU and USI in the OVC Tournament.


10: The number of OVC wins that TSU finished with. This marks the second straight season that head coach Brian “Penny” Collins has seen his team hit the 10-win mark in league play, something that has not been done at TSU since 2011-12, 2012-13.

TSU in the OVCs: The Tigers enter the tournament with a 14-29 mark since making their first appearance in the 1988 tournament held in Murray, Kentucky. It took five more seasons for the Tigers to win their first conference tournament game in 1993, the same season they won the OVC Championship. The following season, 1994, TSU claimed its second straight OVC crown. Since then (28 years), TSU has been the top seed once (1995), second seed twice (1996, 2012), and fourth seed three times (2013, 2016, 2023).

PORTAL POINTS: TSU’s five DI transfers combined to score 1,156 points during the regular season. The five transfers made up of E.J. BellingerJason JitobohKinyon HodgesMichael Shanks, and Denim Dawson combined for just over half of the Tigers’ 2,263 points. Bellinger led the team and group with 374, followed by Hodges (309), Jitoboh (236), Shanks (197), and Dawson (40).

FOUR FOR 31: Four different Tigers saw action in all 31 games this season. Bellinger, Hodges, Shanks and Justin Williams. Hodges led the group with 30 starts.

BIG MAN ON CAMPUS:Jason Jitoboh used his 6-11 towering frame all season long, putting a stop to players across the nation trying to get a shot up on the big man. The Florida transfer led the OVC in total blocks with 70 while playing in just 24 games. His 70 swats is the 9th most in the NCAA, while he ranks fourth in blocks per game with 2.92.

HEALTHIEST HE’S BEEN: Plagued by injuries the past few seasons, third-year Tiger and fifth-year senior Christian Brown has put together one of his best statistical seasons yet. After playing in 17 games and finishing with 206 points last season, Brown has bounced back to play in 26 games, all starts, while logging career highs in minutes (646:34), points (328), rebounds (83), steals (22), and assists (19).

SWIPE RIGHT: Kinyon Hodges finished as the OVC leader in steals with 59. Hodges has two more than the next closest player. He set a TSU single-game record with eight swipes in the home finale against SIUE. Hodges finished the regular season with the team lead in rebounds as well with 174, while also scoring 309 points.

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