NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the Tennessee State Tigers and Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles men's basketball programs meet, fans know what to expect; a hard-fought, physical battle that leaves both teams both physically and mentally drained.
Thursday night's match-up was no different as both squads combined for 48 fouls. The Tigers of Tennessee State took advantage of Golden Eagle turnovers to earn an 84-65 victory.
Junior forward Dennis Ogbe posted a career night, recording his first double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. He also blocked a career-best five shots. A native of Munich, Germany, Ogbe put together his most complete game as a Golden Eagle just hours after being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First-Team.
The Golden Eagles hung close for the first four minutes of the game, trailing by just one at the 16-minute mark. Tech then fell victim to a defensive purge by the Tigers, failing to score over the next five-and-a-half minutes. Tech did not record a field goal for nearly nine minutes, putting up only free throws until senior guard Jud Dillard hit a 3-pointer at the 6:32 mark of the first half.
The Tigers used a distributed attack, notching five players in double-figures for the contest. Kellen Thornton, who also put together a double-double, led TSU in rebounds with 10. He also scored 17 points to go along with 19 for Patrick Miller, 17 for Robert Covington, 11 for M.J. Rhett, and 10 for Jordan Cyphers. The game marked the first for Covington since suffering a knee injury in December.
Senior guard Jud Dillard led the Tech scoring effort, scoring 20 points and pulling down eight boards. He fouled out of the game with just under three minutes to play.
Jeremiah Samarrippas, a point guard from Bartow, Fla., scored 12 points on the night, while dishing out five assists. Freshman big man Anthony Morse posted nine points, including a career-best 7-of-10 from the charity stripe. He added five rebounds and three blocks.
Tech will return to Nashville on Saturday for another OVC East showdown when it takes on Belmont. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. CST.