By Joshua Walden
TSU’s first game of the OVC Tournament came against the fifth seeded Southeast Missouri Redhawks. They came into the game with (14-17) overall and (9-7) in the conference. TSU came into this game as the underdogs. They were the eighth seed with a (17-13) overall record and (8-8) in the conference. TSU had a good first half and went into the locker room with a 34-28 lead. TSU was shooting great from the field at 52% and lights out from 3 at 60 percent.
The Tigers came out pretty hot in the beginning of the second half opening up a 10-2 run. They extended their lead to a game high of 14 points. SEMO eventually started to trim at that lead and finally got it back under double digits with 11 minutes in the second half. SEMO continued to cut into the lead and came within 2 points of the Tigers with about 7 minutes left. The Redhawk’s gained their first lead since the first half with 27 seconds left but TSU’s Armani Chaney tied it all up at 64 with two free throws. The Tiger’s made the final defensive stop to send the game into overtime.
SEMO started the overtime period strong with 5 quick points. TSU’s Delano Spencer hit a three and Darreon Reddick scored a layup to get the Tigers within two points. With less than 30 seconds left TSU trailed by 3 points and Ken’Darrius Hamilton heaved up a 3 and tied the game at 75. About 3 seconds later SEMO’s Tahj Eaddy hit the game winning 3 pointer. The Tigers fell to the Redhawks 75-78.
Senior Wayne Martin led TSU with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Sophomore Armani Chaney added 14 points and Senior Tahjere Mccall put in 12 points. Jordan Reed was also big on the boards and added 8 rebounds.
The Tigers fought valiantly but couldn’t get the win. Coach Ford says “It’s kind of like déjà vu all over again for us, giving up a second half lead here in the conference tournament”. The Tigers gave away a second half lead to Austin Peay in last year’s OVC Tournament.