|February 10, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TTU||TSUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.400 (18-45)||.571 (36-63)|
|3P FG Percentage||.348 (8-23)||.313 (5-16)|
|FT Percentage||.647 (11-17)||.615 (8-13)|
ROWE - 1
MARTIN - 1
LOMAN - 1
FINCHER - 1
GRIGGS-WILLIAMS - 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team put on a dominating performance in a convincing 85-55 home victory over first-place Tennessee Tech on Wednesday night at the Gentry Center.
The Tigers (17-7, 8-3 OVC) shot 57.1 percent (36-for-63) from the field and scored 50 points in the paint. Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) scored a team-best 15 points to lead four TSU players in double figures.
“We’re pleased with the score tonight,” second-year TSU Head Coach Dana Ford said. “I thought we did a pretty good job defensively, especially in the second half. I thought we continued to fly around. Our guys played really well as a unit. That’s what you’ve got to do against a team like Tennessee Tech. They run a good offense and you’ve got to guard them. You can’t win against Tennessee Tech unless you guard them.”
Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) also tallied 14 points, while Armani Chaney (Chicago, Ill.) and Xavier Richards (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands) recorded 11 points apiece. For the Tigers, Demontez Loman (South Port, N.C.) finished two points shy of a double-double with eight points and a game-high 10 boards.
The scoring went back-and-forth in the early going with both teams establishing their offenses. The Tigers were able to level the scoring at 18-18 with 12 minutes left before half on a McCall layup followed by a Chaney layup on back-to-back possessions. McCall scored eight of the Tigers’ first 16 points of the night.
The Tigers gained the upper hand and took their first double-digit lead with just under two minutes left on DeShields’ layup for a 43-33 edge. TSU held the Golden Eagles to one basket in the final 3:18 of the half to take a 43-35 halftime advantage.
For the first eight minutes of the second half, the Tigers’ smothering defense limited Tennessee Tech to just six points as the home side took a 60-41 lead.
The lead grew to 31 at 79-48 with just under five minutes to go on Richard’s dunk off McCall's fast-break pass off the backboard. The Tigers took the largest lead for either side of 35 points on Chaney’s three with 2:08 remaining for an 85-50 lead.
For Tennessee Tech, Torrance Rowe scored 18 of his game-high 19 points in the first half, while Aleksa Jugovic posted 13 points.
Next on the schedule, the Tigers hit the road to take on Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 13, in Richmond, Ky. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET).
GAME NOTES: TSU levels the all-time series versus Tennessee Tech at 31-31 … TSU moves to 9-2 at home this season… The Tigers avenge an 81-79 loss at Tennessee Tech on Jan. 28 on the road… Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) is now five points away from 1,000 career points after scoring 604 during his time at Montana from 2011-14.
TSU Head Coach Dana Ford
“I think our defense kind of wore on them a little bit. They made seven threes in one half and it’s tough to come back and make another seven threes. We just kind of played the numbers game and continued to do what we had done in the first half. Had they have made another seven, then we would have had to find another way to win, but they cooled off a little bit.”
- On what worked defensively
TSU Guard Keron DeShields
“As a team, we are unstoppable when we play together. It was a great team victory. We were prepared, and I just can’t put it into words. I’m proud of our guys. I’m proud of our team unity. We’re taking strides at the right time, and I’m just proud.”
- On the team effort
“Coach Ford went to the drawing board and all the rest of the coaches, and they just decided, ‘you know what, let’s play all these guys because they’ve got talent too.’ That’s the best part about winning when you do it together.”
- On the play of the bench
TSU Guard Xavier Richards
“We played good team ball. We moved the ball a lot and got players in open spots.”
- On what was working on offense
“We thrive on that. Coach Ford always puts it in our head that we could be the best defensive team in the league, and we are. I know we are. We put that on our backs and we do our best defensively.”
- On the play of the defense