NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jaleel Queary scored a career-high 21 points and the Tennessee State men’s basketball team won its first contest of the season with a 108-85 victory on Sunday night.
M.J. Rhett hauled in a career-high 18 rebounds, helping the Tigers win the battle on the boards for only the second time this season, 56-29.
Both sides played it close through the game’s first six minutes, as there were three ties and nine lead changes. However it was Tigers that held the lead at 20-19 when Harris swooshed a corner three at the 14:12 mark.
Harris’s bucket was the cap of an 8-for-9 (89 percent) start from the field for TSU (1-10).
From that point, TSU went 1-for-7 (14 percent) allowing Fisk (6-9) to go on a 13-5 run. The stretch put the Bulldogs up, 32-25, and forced Tennessee State head coach Travis Williams to call timeout with 9:17 to go before halftime.
Fisk continued to add to its lead following the stoppage and Darrell Miller converted a pair of free throws to put the Bulldogs up 44-35 at the six-minute mark.
Miller and Richmond Jackson each had 20 points for Fisk during the opening stanza.
Jordan Gaither knocked down a three with 3:27 to go to pull the Tigers within five, but Fisk answered with a 9-2 run to make the score, 56-44.
In the half’s final 1:20, TSU poured in eight of the final nine points to get back within five, 57-52, heading into the locker room.
Queary led TSU with 14 points on 6-of-9 (67 percent) shooting and added three boards during the opening 20 minutes.
Queary continued to impress, converting a three-point play and assisting on a Miller layup on the next trip down the floor to tie the game at 64 at the 16:14 mark. Miller then slammed home a one-handed dunk and the Tigers took the lead.
Later in the half, the Tigers played solid defense, forcing an air ball from Fisk. Rhett corralled the errant shot and flung the ball up court to Jamonte Graham who was all alone for an easy lay-in.
Graham’s hoop was part of a 17-1 TSU run that put the Tigers up, 87-71, with 7:46 to play.
Rhett had a pair of two-handed dunks and Miller added a tomahawk off of an inbound pass at the 2:57 mark, making the score 99-80 and ending all chances of a Fisk comeback.
The Tigers led by as many as 25, but ended up walking away with a, 108-85, victory.
TSU had a season-high 18 assists, helping the team set a new top mark in points.
With their first home win of the season under their belts, the Tigers will look for their first on the road when they travel to Illinois State on Dec. 19. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.