NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team will host Fisk University on Thursday night at Gentry Center for its final home game of this three-game stretch to begin the season.
The Tigers (1-1) will look to get back into the win column against the Bulldogs (0-6) after falling to Southern Illinois on Tuesday. TSU has a commanding lead in the all-time series with 13 wins to Fisk’s three. Last year’s matchup saw Big Blue win 108-85.
Jay Harris has set a torrid scoring pace out of the gate. The senior is averaging 20.5 points through the first two games with a .556 field goal percentage. He is 7-of-10 (70 percent) from behind the arc while averaging three assists, three rebounds, and two steals to begin the year.
Tigers’ Last Time Out
The Salukis of SIU traveled to Nashville as the first game of a home-and-home series for the two sides in 2014-15. They won the game 84-67 after taking a 20-point lead over TSU into the half. SIU outshot the Tigers from three 50 percent (7-for-14) to 32 percent (6-for-19).
Harris put up 23 points and Charles Tucker scored 16 points, in just his second game, in a losing effort. The Tigers fell victim to foul trouble as four players were charged with five fouls, each, forcing them to the bench before the final whistle.
Bulldogs’ Last Time Out
Fisk fell to Voorhees at home 79-61. The Bulldogs were outrebounded 28-17 while Voorhees shot 34-for-61 (55.7 percent) overall.
Vardaman shot 5-for-6 (83 percent) and scored 15 while Arnold was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor and scored 12 points as the two Fisk players finished in double figures. The Bulldogs could not overcome a -16 turnover margin.
Fisk is shooting 44 percent on the season but is allowing itsopponents to shoot 49 percent. TSU, on the other hand, is shooting 48 percent to begin the season and has held its two opponents to 40 percent.
The Tigers, on average, are outscoring Fisk 82 to 73 and average 12 more rebounds per game. Voorhees was able to hold the Bulldogs’ leading scorer on the season, Jackson, to seven points on 2-of-7 shooting, but Vardaman, their second leading scorer with 14 points a game, torched Voorhees.
· Tucker made the first shot from the field of his collegiate career from beyond the arc in the second half of Tuesday’s loss to SIU. He exploded from there and scored all of his 16 points in that half. The freshman was held without a basket (he had two free-throws) in the game against Reinhardt.
· The Salukis were able to hold Marcus Roper in check (6 points) after his 23-point outburst against Reinhardt. He will be looking to put on another shooting display in Thursday’s game.
· Through these first two games, the Tigers have crashed the offensive glass. They are out-rebounding their opponents on their side of the floor 32-25. Demontez Loman has been TSU’s rebounding machine with seven offensive boards, thus far.
TSU and Fisk are set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. at Gentry Center this Thursday night. This will be the last chance until December for Big Blue fans to catch their Tigers at home as they hit the road for five games.