Jonathan Green scored 28 points to lead Tennessee State over George Washington, 69-58, in the opening round of the Morehead State Eagle Classic tonight.
Illinois-Chicago Circle and Morehead State played in the other first-round game, GW will play the loser at 7 p.m. Saturday night in the consolation round.
George Washington took an 18-8 lead on the shooting of guard Randy Davis, who had six of those points.Tennessee State then switched from a 3-2 zone defense to an aggressive, man-to-man defense and trailed GW by only one at halftime, 30-29.
Tennessee State outscored George Washington, 12-4, at the start of the second half and took a 41-34 lead. GW pulled within three, 57-54, with 3:50 remaining, but a tip-in by Charles Morton (17 points) and two layups by forward Green, who did an excellent job in close all night, enabled the Tigers to take command and go on to the victory. GW is 0-2 and Tennessee State 2-1.
Tennessee State improved from 45 percent from-the-floor shooting in the first half to 59 percent in the second half. GW, forced to foul at the end to try to catch up, enabled Tennessee State to capitalize at the free-throw line -- 14 of 17 from the line in the second half.
GW fell from a 50 percent field-goal percentage in the first half to 37.9 in the second half.