NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Corey Tillery hit four straight free throws in the final minute and Tennessee Tech held off a Tennessee State rally to win the Ohio Valley Conference opener, 66-64 on Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles won for the third straight time in Nashville. The two previous wins required overtime.
Jr. Clay converted a 3-point play to get Tennessee Tech within one with just under five minutes to play, then put them on top for good with a 3-pointer to make it 57-55. Armani Chaney brought Tennessee State back with a pair of free throws and a layup with :35 to play. Tillery made it 66-61 with :12 left with his third and fourth free throws, but The Tigers sent Tripp Davis to the free-throw line twice in the closing seconds. Davis hit two of three to cut the lead to 66-63, but missed the second of two with a second left.
Clay finished with 23 points for the Golden Eagles (5-9, 1-0), who converted 22 of 36 from the line (61.1 percent).
Chaney finished with 15 points for Tennessee State (3-10, 0-1) and Emmanuel Egbuta grabbed 14 rebounds.