|January 02, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TSUMBB||SEMO|
|FG Percentage||.455 (25-55)||.407 (24-59)|
|3P FG Percentage||.278 (5-18)||.214 (3-14)|
|FT Percentage||.739 (17-23)||.600 (15-25)|
- 8||ANGUS III
DESHIELDS - 4
MCCALL - 1
RICHARDS - 1
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – In a back-and-forth contest to open Ohio Valley Conference play, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team used a gritty effort to defeat Southeast Missouri, 72-66, on Saturday at the Show Me Center. The win improves TSU to 10-4 to double last year’s win total of five.
The Tigers (10-4, 1-0 OVC) trailed the Redhawks (2-12, 0-2 OVC) by four with 3:43 to play before closing the game on a 15-4 run to pull out a victory and snap a two-game losing streak.
“We’re happy to get a win,” second-year Tennessee State Head Coach Dana Ford said. “League play is here, so anytime you can win on the road you keep yourself in the hunt for a championship. We’ve got to give SEMO a lot of credit. Their zone gave us some fits. Individually, some guys stepped up and made some big shots. It’s just great to see our guys stick together and be down and come back, so we’re really happy right now.”
Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) led four TSU players scoring in double figures with 17 points and eight rebounds. Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) added 15 points, while Marcus Roper (Walton Beach, Fla.) and Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
For SEMO, Antonius Cleveland led all scorers with 21 points and completed a double-double with 10 rebounds.
The Tigers fell behind early with the Redhawks taking a 9-4 advantage three minutes into the game.
TSU was able to tie the game in the next minute, setting up a seesaw game with 13 ties and 10 lead changes. Later in the half, DeShields hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give the Tigers their largest lead of the half of seven points at 35-28 with 2:17 to go before halftime.
The Redhawks scored the final five points of the first half to cut the Tigers’ lead down to 35-33 heading into the break.
SEMO continued to play well early in the second half, scoring the first seven points to take a 40-35 edge.
The game remained close as the Redhawks held a 62-58 advantage right after the final media timeout with 3:43 left. On the next two possessions, however, Xavier Richards (St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands) hit a jumper and Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) nailed two free throws to level the scoring at 62-62 with 2:52 left.
Reddick’s three with 2:07 remaining put the Tigers up, 65-62, a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. After the teams exchanged buckets, Reddick came up with another big shot with 56.0 seconds left for a 69-64 advantage.
Two-straight defensive stops coupled with three made free throws in the final 24 seconds gave TSU the victory.
The Tigers finished with 38 rebounds to SEMO’s 35 and shot 45.5 percent (25-for-55) from the field.
Next on the schedule, the Tigers head to Eastern Illinois on Jan. 6 for a 7 p.m. game.
GAME NOTES: TSU improves to 25-19 in the all-time series… TSU had lost two in a row in the series… Tennessee State has now won as many games as the last two seasons combined after finishing the 2013-14 season with a 5-25 record and the 2014-15 season with a 5-26 record.
Tennessee State Guard Tahjere McCall
“It’s really building our confidence because that was a tough game. In conference play, everybody and can beat everybody. It just showed how much we stuck together, and we’ve just got to move forward and keep playing hard.”
- On winning a back-and-forth game
Tennessee State Head Coach Dana Ford
“They just showed a lot of perseverance and a lot of resiliency and character. Wayne Martin started breaking out before the game even started and he still played. Just for him to suit up and play was just unbelievable. Darreon Reddick didn’t shoot it well early but came back and hit two huge shots.”
- On winning in a close game
“I think it’s really important. In conference play, you take things one possession at a time and one game at a time. Being 1-0 beats the alternative of being 0-1.”
- On being 1-0 in OVC Play
“It’s good to have that feeling, but we’ve got to put this one in the bank and move on and try to be 1-0 against Eastern Illinois on Wednesday. That’s been our mindset. I’m happy for our guys for them to be able to say that they’ve already won 10 games this year.”
- On doubling last year’s win total