NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team faced its first Div. I opponent of the season on Tuesday in visiting Southern Illinois and fell 84-67.
The Tigers (1-1) dropped their first game of the season to the Salukis (1-1), a team that held TSU to 32 percent three-point shooting. SIU led from the get-go and never trailed during the game.
TSU fell victim to a perfect half by the Saluki’s top player Anthony Beane. The junior guard scored 24 points on 8-of-8 shooting (4-for-4 from beyond the arc) which was just two points shy of the Tigers 26 total points.
Tennessee State, on the flip side, shot 30 percent from the field and went 5-for-9 at the free-throw line. Jay Harris tried to put the team on his back in the opening half, scoring 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 3-for-4 from three-point range. SIU held the rest of the Tigers five buckets in 23 tries.
The Salukis also owned the boards in the first half, 22-14.
TSU made a push in the second half, as Big Blue brought the deficit to within 11 at the 6:12 mark, but SIU stretched its lead back out from there.
Charles Tucker went off in the second half, scoring all 16 of his points on 6-of-8 shooting all while dishing out five of his six assists and grabbing a pair of defensive rebounds. Harris added 12 points to finish with 23, total.
Four players fouled out for TSU in the second half.
This is head coach Dana Ford's first career defeat.
TSU will have one final home game before taking to the road as Fisk visits Gentry Center on Thursday. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m.