NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with a win against Reinhardt on Friday night at the Gentry Center.
The Tigers (1-0) put away the Eagles (0-1) in the second half after playing tightly in the first. Junior Marcus Roper paced all scorers with 23 while both Zachary Lee (15pts, 10 boards) and Demontez Loman (11 pts, 13 boards) posted double-doubles.
TSU shot 56% from the field and 61% from three-point land for the game. Roper was 4-for-7 from behind the arc while Jay Harris shot 3-for-4.
TSU went into the locker room ahead 47-45 after a tough first half. The Tigers experienced peaks and valleys such as a 15-point lead at one point that disappeared during a Reinhardt 24-8 run. Roper managed to shake off the nerves and drop 10 points on the half.
The Tigers shot the ball well during the first 20 minutes, posting a 46% clip from the field. They were also impressive from behind the arc, going 5-of-8. Harris was perfect from three and from the free-throw line (2-2 from each). TSU managed to get to the foul line 18 times in the first half.
The Tigers were able to pull away in the closing half, outscoring the Eagles 50-21. Reinhardt turned the ball over eight times in the second half leading to 10 points for TSU. Both Lee and Darreon Reddick were perfect from the field (both were 3-for-3) on the half, while Lee added nine rebounds.
Where TSU truly put the game away in the second half was on defense. The Blue and White defenders held Reinhardt to 21% from the field during the half. That was a 24% decline from the first half.
Along with Roper, Lee, and Loman, there were three other Tigers who finished with double-digit points. Harris put up 18 as the second highest scorer while Reddick had 15 and Xavier Richards had 10.
This is the first career win for head coach Dana Ford.
TSU will continue its home-stand next Tuesday night against Southern Illinois. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.