Starkville, Miss. - To open the 2010-11 basketball season, Tennessee State University dropped a hard fought contest to Mississippi State, 75-65, in Humphrey Coliseum on Friday night.
The Tigers shot 35.9 percent from the floor with three players posting double digits. Robert Covington, Kenny Moore and Patrick Miller each scored 13 points. Covington and Moore each hauled in a team-high seven rebounds.
The Tigers trailed by as much as six in the first half but rattled off a 9-2 run with under five minutes to play in the half to post their largest lead of the night 26-21. The Bulldogs answered with an 11-5 spurt tying it up before the break on a three-pointer at the horn, 31-31.
In the second, MSU opened up on a 9-4 run to recapture the lead, 40-33, but the Tigers led again outscoring the Bulldogs, 13-4, with 9:14 remaining, 46-44. Late in the half, TSU trailed by 10 points with 1:14 left, but scrapped their way back in to narrow the lead from a 9-4 run, 70-65, with 25 seconds left.
The Bulldogs hit five straight free throws down the stretch to survive the scare. For MSU, Ravern Johnson led all scorers with a career-high, 32 points, including 13-of-14 from the free-throw line netting his 1, 000th career point in the process.
Kodi Augustus recorded the only double-double with 14 points (5-of-9) and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Next up for TSU, the Tigers will host Fisk on Monday, Nov. 15, at the Gentry Center with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.