Tennessee State 68, Miami 61
OXFORD, Ohio--A late surge catapulted Tennessee State (19-10) past Miami University's men's basketball team on Sunday afternoon at Millett Hall in the Sears BracketBuster, 68-61.
Senior forward Julian Mavunga led all scorers with 15 points on the afternoon and he also added eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Jon Harris and freshman guard Brian Sullivan also reached double figures for Miami, with each scoring 12 points for the RedHawks (8-17).
Tennessee State was led by junior forward Robert Covington, who scored 14 points and tied for the team lead in rebounds with six.
Covington got things started by knocking down a three, and another quick basket by the Tigers gave them an early 5-0 lead. The RedHawks then went on an 11-0 scoring run that started and ended with 3-pointers from Brian Sullivan. The two squads were rather close for much of the half, and the score was 24-21 at the 8:55 mark.
It was at that point that Miami began an 11-5 run to end the half. The scoring sequence was highlighted by a shooting foul on freshman guard Will Sullivan at the buzzer, and he made two of his three free throws to send the RedHawks into the locker room with a 35-26 lead. That marked the fifth time in six games that Miami entered halftime either tied or with a lead.
Mavunga opened up the scoring in the second half with two freebies, but the Tigers quickly answered with two of their own. Mavunga knocked down a jumper and sophomore guard Quinten Rollins added a free throw to make the score 40-28 with 16:27 remaining. The 12-point lead was the largest by either team at any point in the game.
From that point on, however, the game was all Tennessee State. The Tigers rattled off a 40-21 run to end the game, led by 10 points from Patrick Miller and nine from Covington. The RedHawks did have their chances, however, as they held the lead as late as the 4:07 mark, 54-53, but the Tigers scored 11 unanswered points to take the lead for good. The game ended with a final score of 68-61 in favor of Tennessee State.
The win was the ninth straight for the Tigers, a streak that includes ending Murray State's undefeated season back on Feb. 9.
Miami tries to rebound on Tuesday when Kent State comes to Millett Hall in a Mid-American Conference matchup at 7 p.m. Former RedHawk great Wally Szczerbiak will be returning to Oxford and will be honored as a part of the Fantastic Fourteen season ticket promotion this season.