December 22, 20151st2ndFinal
Tennessee State233255
Stats at a GlanceTSUMBBILS
FG Percentage.377 (23-61) .468 (22-47)
3P FG Percentage.286 (6-21) .391 (9-23)
FT Percentage.375 (3-8) .813 (13-16)
Offensive Rebounds97
Defensive Rebounds1932
Total Rebounds2839
Bench Points4320
PointsDESHIELDS - 16
Hawkins - 10
Griffin - 10
Akoon-Purcell - 10
ReboundsMARTIN - 6
Banyard - 11
AssistsRICHARDS - 3
Griffin - 3
Hawkins - 2
BlocksROPER - 1
Ndiaye - 5
TSU Heads to Illinois State
Monday, December 21, 2015
TSU Heads to Illinois State

Tuesday, Dec. 22 | 6 p.m.
Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena | Normal, Ill.

VIDEO STREAM: ESPN3 – Kurt Pegler (Play-by-play) and Bob Morris (Color) on the call
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter - @TSU_Tigers | Instagram -@TSUTigers | #BigBlueRising

OPENING TIP: The Tigers will put their seven-game winning streak on the line with Tuesday night's showdown at Illinois State in a game that will air on ESPN3. TSU Head Coach Dana Ford played for Illinois State from 2002-06 and served as Associate Head Coach for the Redbirds from 2012-14.

INTO PERSPECTIVE: The last time the Tigers were 9-2 was during the 1994-95 season when the team began the year 13-2 and won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season crown. 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. One more win for TSU this season, and the Tigers will have achieved as many wins as the last two seasons combined when the program went 5-25 and 5-26.

LAST TIME OUT: Marcus Roper scored a season-high 26 points off the bench to help TSU defeat Alcorn State by an 81-76 final score on Saturday at Southwest Tennessee Community College. The Tigers improved to 9-2 with their seventh-consecutive victory. 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.

ABOUT ILLINOIS STATE: Illinois State enters Tuesday’s game with a 5-7 record after facing a brutal schedule including #1 Kentucky and #2 Maryland in addition to San Diego State and TCU. The Redbirds had won two in a row before a 79-65 road loss at St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia last time out on Dec. 19. Fourth-year Head Coach Dan Muller’s team has gone 2-0 versus Ohio Valley Conference teams this season with victories over Murray State and Morehead State. Scoring 16.0 points per game, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell is the leading scorer for an ISU squad that features five freshmen and two sophomores. ISU was selected fourth in the MVC Preseason Poll, while Akoon-Purcell was selected as a Preseason All-Conference pick.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. ILLINOIS STATE: Tennessee State has gone 3-2 versus Illinois State in the all-time series. The Tigers won the first three meetings in 1956, 1959 and 1966. In the two meetings at the Division I level in 2010 and 2013, Illinois State has won both. In the two most recent meetings in 2010 and 2013, the games have been decided by a combined 11 points.

CONNECTIONS: TSU Head Coach Dana Ford, who is a native of Tamms, Ill., played for the Redbirds from 2002-06, earning the team’s defensive player of the year award as a senior. Ford returned to his alma mater to serve as the Associate Head Coach and recruiting coordinator under Dan Muller for two seasons (2012-14). TSU’s 2015-16 roster also features two players from Illinois: Armani Chaney (Chicago, Ill.) and Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.).

UP NEXT: The Tigers break for the holidays before returning to action to face Tennessee in Knoxville on Dec. 29. The game, which will air on the SEC Network, will tip at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT).