Tripp Davis’ jumper with 23 seconds on the clock lifted host Tennessee State past the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team, 82-81, on Thursday night at the Gentry Center.
EKU (7-9, 0-3 OVC) led by seven at halftime and took its largest lead of the night, 48-36, when freshman Tre King threw down a dunk less than two minutes into the second half.
However, TSU (4-11, 1-2 OVC) responded with a 13-2 run and trimmed the EKU lead to one, 50-49, on a jumper by Dave Morris at the 16:03 mark.
Eastern held a narrow lead for much of the second half, but Tennessee State continued to hang around. The Tigers finally tied, 64-64, on a three-point play by Davis with 10:12 remaining. They grabbed their first lead since early in the game when Daniel Cummings drained a triple to make it 71-70 with 7:20 to play.
Neither team led by more than three over the final seven minutes. With the game tied, 78-78, redshirt freshman Pedro Bradshaw connected on his first career three-pointer to give the Colonels a three-point advantage with 1:24 on the clock.
TSU converted two free throws on its next possession to claw back to within one, and then Davis hit the go-ahead jumper with 23 ticks on the clock.
Senior Nick Mayo had a look at a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, but it fell short.
Freshman Jomaru Brown paced the Colonels with 24 points – two shy of his career high. Mayo finished with 22 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
King chipped in 13 points and a team-best eight boards.
EKU shot over 50 percent from the floor (28-of-55); however, the Colonels went 17-of-33 from the free throw line (51.5 percent), including 9-of-21 from the stripe in the second half.
Eastern out-rebounded TSU, 39-27, but the Colonels lost the turnover battle on the night, 15-11.
Kamar McKnight led five Tigers in double figures with 16 points.
EKU returns to action on Saturday when the Colonels square off against Belmont at 6 p.m.
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Associate Director of EKUSports Communications