NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the fourth time this season, Patrick Miller dropped over 30 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Tennessee State men’s basketball team fell to Eastern Kentucky 94-78 on Thursday night in the Gentry Center.
Miller finished with 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting (63 percent), and a team-best six rebounds and four assists.
Jordan Gaither was the only other Tennessee State (2-20, 1-7) player in double figures as the sophomore finished with a career-high 20 points and was 7-for-9 from the field (77 percent) while playing 16 minutes, all in the second half.
Eastern Kentucky (14-6, 5-2) was led by Glenn Cosey who scored 24 points. Tarius Johnson (13), Marcus Lewis (11), Isaac McGlone (11) and Eric Stutz (10) also reached the double-digit plateau.
Miller got the Tigers started with an offensive rebound and a put-back from in close on TSU’s first offensive possession.
From that point, EKU went on a 15-2 run that lasted just over five minutes to put the visitors up, 15-4. The Tigers had five turnovers over the span, leading to 12 Colonel points.
Miller finally ended the skid with back-to-back hoops, but a 12-2 EKU run later in the first half made the score 32-12 with nine minutes to go before halftime. All of Eastern Kentucky’s points came on four three pointers and the Colonels started 7-of-11 from deep (64 percent).
TSU got down by 21 with 7:51 left in the period, but the Tigers rallied, and scored the game’s next 11 points to trim the lead to 10 at 35-25 at the three-minute mark. EKU had three turnovers during the drought, helping the Tiger cause.
Eastern Kentucky’s Cosey made a hoop at the buzzer to put his team in front heading into the locker room, 45-32.
The first stanza was dominated by Miller and Cosey who poured in 19 and 16, respectively. The difference in the opening 20 minutes was the bench scoring, as EKU’s accounted for 19 points while TSU’s mustered two.
The Colonels quickly raised the lead back up to 20 when Cosey canned a three at 17:17 mark following three straight EKU offensive rebounds.
Gaither provided a much needed offensive spark off of the bench for TSU, scoring 11 points in 11 minutes. Despite the Atlanta, Ga. native’s effort, the Tigers still trailed, 74-54, with 8:32 left in the game.
A 9-0 TSU run later in the half cut the Colonel lead down to 13 at the 5:50 mark, but Travis Williams called timeout after Chaed Wellian’s three. EKU countered with five straight points following the break.
The Tigers tried to mount a comeback, but could never get within single digits, and fell to the Colonels, 94-78.
Tennessee State will stay at home and host Morehead State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.