Iowa City, Iowa - Tennessee State University was one rebound short of an opportunity to pull off an upset, but instead drooped a gallant effort to Iowa, 67-62, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Tuesday night (1/12).
Josh Sain scored a team-high, 19 points, hitting 4-of-9 from the outside, 6-of-16 overall. Jacquan Nobles went 4-of-9 for 14 points and Darius Cox followed with 11 points with four boards. Robert Covington scored seven points to go with a team-high, eight rebounds.
The Tigers (4-14, 1-5) shot 40 percent and a season-high 90 percent from the free-throw line.
TSU held their largest lead of the game at the 9:42 mark of the first half, 20-10. TSU would retake the lead after falling behind, 28-22, with 1:14 left before the break, 32-31.
However, with the scored tied, 33-33, Iowa's Aaron Fuller hit a lay-up at the buzzer to help the Hawkeyes to a 35-33 lead at the half.
Fuller finished with a double-double from a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds.
TSU opened the second half behind three consecutive three-point baskets by Sain to manage a 44-41 advantage. Four more lead changes would ensue throughout the half, with both teams tied, 60-60, with 2:22 left to play.
Cully Payne hit a three-pointer with 1:45 left (63-60) before Sain answered on a runner in the paint (63-62). TSU missed two opportunities to score after missing crucial defensive rebound with less than 30 seconds remaining. As a result, the Tigers committed a quick foul and Iowa answered, hitting their free throws as timed expired.
The Hawkeyes (6-11) shot 50 percent overall including 56 percent from the floor in the first half. Payne and Matt Gatens also scored in double figures for Iowa. Payne notched 11 points and Gatens scored 12 points while hauling in six rebounds.
TSU the will return to Ohio Valley Conference play at Austin Peay State on Saturday, Jan. 16. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip-off.