COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville committed 20 turnovers Wednesday night, and couldn't escape another slow start, falling to Tennessee Tech University 78-65 in men's basketball at the Hooper-Eblen Center.
"I thought our guys played with great effort," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "What we really got beat by is offensive rebounds and 20 turnovers tonight."
Tennessee Tech outrebounded SIUE 44-30, including collecting 21 offensive rebounds, leading to 24 second-chance points.
Junior Cornelius Chatt scored a career-high 22 points, including 17 in the second half, but it wasn't enough for the Cougars, who fell to 1-7.
"I thought he did a great job," Forrester said of Chatt. "We've been talking to him about being more aggressive and not being just a jump-shooter."
Chatt was 8 of 16 from the floor, and 3 of 6 from beyond the three-point line.
"He was aggressive in going to the basket," Forrester continued. "That created some open looks for him later from outside."
SIUE fell behind 8-0 and trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half. Tennessee Tech, 1-3, led 29-21 at the break. The Cougars shot just 31.8 percent from the floor in the first half.
SIUE began the second half on a 14-7 run to cut the lead to one, at 36-35, with 15:30 to play in the game.
The Cougars twice more cut the Golden Eagles' lead to one.
Chatt converted a three-point play, hitting a free-throw after a lay-in and a foul at 12:38 to make the score 46-45. Zac Swansey hit a jumper to extend the TTU lead back to three, before a Nikola Bundalo lay-in with 11:26 to play made it 48-47 Tech.
On the Golden Eagles' next trip down the floor, LeShaun Murphy managed a steal, and then drove the length of the floor for a lay-up for SIUE's only lead at 49-48. Murphy finished with six points.
The Cougars shot 56.7 percent (17-30) from the field in the second half, and 46.2 percent for the game, but turnovers down the stretch hurt them. Tennessee Tech scored 14 points off turnovers in the second half alone.
Corey Wickware added 10 points for the Cougars. It was Wickware's sixth game this season in double figure scoring, which leads the team. Kevin Stineman turned in nine points and added four assists. Stineman played a game-high 36 minutes.
Kevin Murphy led the Golden Eagles with 20 points and seven rebounds.
The Cougars return home to face Middle Tennessee State Saturday night at the Vadalabene Center. Game time is 7 p.m.