Delaware State (9-15) at Tennessee State (11-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 19th, 4:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gentry Sports Center (10,500) -- Nashville, Tennessee. Television: OVCSports.TV. Home Record: Delaware St. 6-3, Tennessee St. 8-2. Away Record: Delaware St. 3-11, Tennessee St. 3-13. Neutral Record: Delaware St. 0-1, Tennessee St. 0-0. Conference Record: Delaware St. 5-7, Tennessee St. 8-8. Series Record: Tennessee State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Delaware State battles Tennessee State in the ninth annual BracketBuster series, with this contest taking place at the Gentry Sports Center in Nashville.
This will be Delaware State's first BracketBuster appearance. The Hornets and defending league champ Morgan State are the only Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference teams invited to participate in this year's event.
Meanwhile, Tennessee State, members of the Ohio Valley Conference, is 2-3 all- time in BracketBuster contests after a 79-73 loss to Central Michigan last year.
Delaware State and Tennessee State are meeting for just the second time. The Tigers won the first game, 75-69, in the 2004 Las Vegas Tournament.
The Hornets come into this game off a 69-63 loss at Florida A&M on Monday. Jay Threatt topped all players with 22 points. He also drained a career-best three three-pointers. Desi Washington added 16 points and Terron Stowe scored a career-high 13 for the Hornets, who have lost two in a row and six of their last seven games to fall to 9-15 overall and 5-7 in the MEAC.
Threat, a junior guard who transferred from George Mason, ranks among the nation's top 20 in assists. He averages nearly six helpers per game, while adding 9.8 ppg. Freshman guard Desi Washington leads the way with 13.4 ppg, followed by freshman backcourt mate Casey Walker (12.9 ppg). Forward Marques Oliver leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 rpg, while also scoring in double figures at 11.1 ppg. His twin brother, Brandon, plays sparingly for the Hornets, who are the second-lowest scoring team in the MEAC at just 63.6 ppg. On the positive side, Delaware State is giving up just 65.1 ppg, which is second-best in the conference, and its free-throw shooting percentage (.734) and three-point percentage (.364) leads the league. The Hornets are also tenacious when it comes to forcing turnovers, as they pace the conference in turnover margin and steals (8.4 spg).
Like the Hornets, Tennessee State has struggled of late, losing three straight and six of its last seven overall. The Tigers are coming off a heart-breaking 61-59 loss at Tennessee Tech on Monday. Zac Swansey hit the winning jumper in the waning seconds for Tennessee Tech, and the Tigers gave the game away when Kenny Moore turned the ball over with 1.8 seconds remaining. The Tigers, though, can take some positives from the defeat as they shot 8-of-18 from three-point range and missed just one of 12 free throws in the game. In fact, Tennessee State ranks second in the OVC with a .753 free-throw shooting percentage. Jacquan Nobles continued his productivity off the bench as the Tigers' sixth man. The sophomore guard scored a team-high 17 points on Monday and is averaging 7.5 ppg.
Leading the way for Tennessee State this season is Moore, as the junior forward from Philadelphia is averaging 14.6 ppg. Robert Covington, a 6-9 sophomore forward, leads the way with 7.4 rpg while contributing 13.3 ppg. The Tigers have two other players averaging in double figures in freshman guard Patrick Miller (11.7 ppg) and junior guard Wil Peters (10.4 ppg). Freshman forward Michael Green, who has scored just six points over the last three games, is the fifth starter.
This is a game for the Tigers to take advantage of their balanced offensive attack, but in order to win they'll need to have a good afternoon shooting from long range. TSU is second in the OVC with 7.4 three-pointers per game, while DSU comes in with a stingy defense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee State 68, Delaware State 65
02/19 10:35:37 ET