Tigers Late Run Cut Short in Season Opener
Nashville, Tenn. The Tigers (0-1) cut a double-digit deficit in the final two minutes, but did not have enough time to pull off the win dropping their season opener to Cumberland, 93-85.
Four Tigers hit career-highs. Gerald Robinson, Jr. led all scorers and tied a career-high with 31 points (7-17). Darius Cox and Stephen Evans tallied double-doubles. Cox scored 17 points (7-11) and pulled in a career-high 10 boards. Stephen Evans finished with career-highs in both categories scoring 15 points (6-10) and collecting 12 rebounds. Emmanuel Gaiter scored a career best 10 points with seven rebounds.
There were eight lead changes in the first half and with 4:02 remaining, the Bulldogs capitalized on a TSU turnover sparking a 9-2 run. Both teams shot close to 45 percent in the first half. The Bulldogs took advantage of their three-point opportunities hitting 46 percent (6-13) compared to the Tigers' 33 (2-6). The Tigers trailed at halftime, 44-35.
Brandon Springer led Cumberland with a double-double, 25 points and 13 rebounds.
After scoring the first shot of the second half, the Tigers found themselves in an early bind from a Bulldog 12-4 run with 17:54 remaining. At the 11:19 mark, the Tigers were down 70-45. With 6:23 left in the game, a steal by Robinson ignited a TSU 6-2 run.
With Cumberland committing early fouls in the half, TSU capitalized in the bonus, connecting10-of-11 free throws with time winding down. Robinson scored 16 points (16-17) from the stripe, making eight straight to give the Tigers life in the last minute.
Parker Smith made two free throws with 29 seconds left and TSU pulled within six points of the lead. However, Cumberland was able to break the Tiger defensive pressure on two possessions to survive the final-minute scare, 93-85.
The Tigers finished shooting 44 percent from the field (28-63) and 29 percent (4-14) from the arc. The Tigers hauled in 42 rebounds while shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line.
The Tigers will travel to Baltimore, Md. to face the Greyhounds of Loyola (MD) on Sunday, November 16th. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.