|December 19, 2015||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||ALCNMBB||TSUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.444 (28-63)||.527 (29-55)|
|3P FG Percentage||.440 (11-25)||.563 (9-16)|
|FT Percentage||.643 (9-14)||.737 (14-19)|
Devonte HAMPTON - 16
Marquis VANCE - 16
MARTIN - 3
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Senior Marcus Roper (Walton Beach, Fla.) scored a season-high 26 points off the bench to help the Tennessee State men’s basketball team defeat Alcorn State by an 81-76 final score on Saturday at Verties Sails Gymnasium on the campus of Southwest Tennessee Community College.
The Tigers improve to 9-2 with their seventh-consecutive victory. The nine non-conference regular season victories are the most for TSU at the Division I level since joining the Ohio Valley Conference prior to the 1987-88 season.
Alcorn State (1-8) shot 44.4 percent from the field and led by seven points in the first half. The Tigers were able to bounce back thanks to a strong shooting performance of their own, finishing 29-for-55 (52.7 percent) from the field.
“I think you have to give Alcorn State some credit,” second year Tennessee State Head Coach Dana Ford said. “They played a lot better than we did today. We didn’t defend like we have been, so we have to get a lot better, but it’s always good to win.”
In addition to Roper’s 26 points, Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) scored 12 points with Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) adding 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Tigers trailed by as many as seven in the first half before a 16-5 run gave TSU a 31-27 lead with 5:02 to go before the half.
Alcorn State scored eight of the final 13 points of the half to cut TSU's lead down to 36-35 heading into the break. Roper finished the half shooting 7-for-8 from the field for 18 points.
With TSU up by seven at 68-61 with 5:41 to go in the second half, the Tigers reeled off seven-straight points for their largest lead of 14 points at 75-61 with four minutes left.
The Braves trimmed the deficit to just one with 23.2 seconds to play before DeShields hit a pair of free throws for a three-point cushion with the score at 79-76. On Alcorn State’s next possession, Xavier Richards (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands) came up with a huge block with 13.5 seconds left, and Reddick hit two free throws on the other end to ice the game.
DeShields tied a career high with eight rebounds as the Tigers outrebounded the Braves, 35-32. Reddick also set a career high with eight assists on the night.
Next on the schedule, the Tigers head to Normal, Ill. to take on Illinois State on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m.
GAME NOTES: TSU improves to 2-0 versus teams from the SWAC this season after beating Grambling State earlier in the season... TSU runs its record to 9-3 in the all-time series versus Alcorn State... The Tigers move to 2-0 in games on a neutral court this season.
Tennessee State Head Dana Ford
“I think he singlehandedly kept us in there. He was a big reason why we won. He’s always been a good shooter. He’s getting more playing time, and we’re happy with how he’s playing offensively.”
- On the play of Marcus Roper
“It’s always good to win. We need to play better, though. It’s good to play bad and win as opposed to play well and lose.”
- On being 9-2
“We’ll have to play a lot better, or they’ll run us out of the gym. That’s another quick turnaround. They’ve got a really good team. They’ve probably played one of the top five toughest schedules in the country, so we better be a lot better than what we were today.”
- On facing Illinois State on Tuesday