NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team faces their first true test of the season at home Tuesday night as they host Southern Illinois at the Gentry Center.
The Tigers (1-0) will take on the Salukis (0-1) for the 14th time in either school’s history. TSU holds the advantage in the all-time series, but only by a game, 7-6. The last time these two schools met was 1989 when SIU won 99-65.
Last time out for TSU
Head coach Dana Ford got his first win in his first ever game as the Tigers were an efficient bunch on offense, shooting 56% overall and 61% from behind the arc. They utilized a motion offense and forced Reinhardt to constantly adjust to where the ball was on the floor.
All of that passing opened up shot after shot with Marcus Roper leading the charge. At the end of the night, Roper had 23 points and made four three-pointers. Jay Harris got his senior year going with 18 points and three buckets from beyond the arc.
Last time out for the Salukis
SIU fell to the Bilikens in Saint Louis by a score of 62-59. The Salukis led for most of the game until SLU got a shot in the arm via a three-pointer with .10 seconds left by the game’s leading scorer Austin McBroom that broke a 57-all tie.
Anthony Beane, SIU’s star player, scored 14 points but only played 19 minutes due to foul trouble. Sean O’Brien recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Salukis fell victim to a draught for the final six minutes of the game, not making a single shot from the floor during that span.
TSU and SIU match up evenly in size, so there are no physical advantages to either side. Both teams also have about the same class ratios as the Salukis, like the Tigers, have just one senior on the roster. Look for TSU to continue deploying their motion offense. How it works will be the key to their success. There were a few times when Reinhardt was able to disrupt it and force the young Tiger team to adapt, which was when the Eagles went on a run to take the lead momentarily in the first half.
· The Tigers received two double-double performances from Zachary Lee and Demontez Loman on Friday night. Lee scored 15 and nabbed 10 boards while Loman put up 11 points and hauled in 13 rebounds. The two were the featured post players in an offense that didn’t really keep a player on the block for long.
· This will be the first time that 11 of the 13 TSU players have ever faced a Division I opponent.
· Before he fouled out, Darreon Reddick made his mark on the game with 15 points. The freshman was Ford’s first signee as head coach and showed some slick ball handling and good finishing capabilities.
The Game will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Gentry Center. A good crowd was on hand to see the Tigers beat the Eagles and there will be another good crowd there to see the young TSU squad take on Southern Illinois.