Mt. Pleasant, Mich. - The Tennessee State University men's basketball team jumped off to a great start but could not hold off Central Michigan in the final minutes.
The Tigers' four-game win streak was snapped with a 79-73 loss in the ESPN BracketBusters to the Chippewas on Saturday night (2/20) at the Rose Center.
TSU (8-21) moves to 2-2 in BracketBuster games with CMU (13-13) improving to 5-2 including a 5-0 record at home in the event. The Tigers shot 45 percent overall and an identical percentage from behind the arc. They also out rebounded CMU, 30-28.
Jeremiah Crutcher led all scorers with 21 points shooting 8-of-14. Wil Peters tied a career-high 19 points (6-of-13) connecting 3-of-4 from long range. Robert Covington managed a game-high six rebounds to go along with 12 points (4-of-9) and two blocks.
TSU looked to have the game in control in the first half jumping out to a 10-5 lead. The Tigers led the entire first half shooting 57 percent from the floor. They held the largest lead of the night, 44-35 (1:04), but a three-point basket by CMU with six seconds left narrowed the gap at the break, 44-38.
In the second half, TSU held the lead until the 4:01 mark when Robbie Harman hit a three-pointer on the right wing to give the Chippewas the lead, 67-65. The score was part of an 18-8 CMU run to close out the game.
CMU connected 10-of-14 free throws with TSU missing scoring opportunities and committing two costly turnovers in the final minute.
CMU shot 49 percent and defensively posted nine blocks. Harman and Marko Spica led the Chippewas with 17 points each. Spica hit a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and went 7-of-9 from the stripe to help CMU score 28 points in the paint. He also pulled in a team-high five boards.
Jordan Bitzer went 4-of-9 including 3-of-5 from long range tallying 16 points. Antonio Weary (3-of-4) scored ten points to go with four rebounds.
The Tigers will finish out the regular season on a two-game conference road swing making their first stop in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The Tigers will play Southeast Missouri State on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Show Me Center. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m.