|February 13, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TSUMBB||EKU|
|FG Percentage||.478 (22-46)||.400 (24-60)|
|3P FG Percentage||.316 (6-19)||.419 (13-31)|
|FT Percentage||.784 (29-37)||.895 (17-19)|
- 9||PRATT JR
PRATT JR - 1
RICHMOND, Ky. – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team earned a thrilling 79-78 Ohio Valley Conference road victory at Eastern Kentucky at McBrayer Arena on Saturday afternoon for the Tigers' first win at EKU since March 1, 2008. Redshirt senior Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) scored 18 points and eclipsed 1,000 career points on the day.
TSU (18-7, 9-3 OVC), which trailed by 10 with just over 16 minutes left, stormed all the way back to take the lead for the last 6:30 of the game. Down by one with 1.9 seconds left, Jarelle Reischel’s jumper was off the mark for EKU (14-14, 5-8 OVC) as the Tigers picked up their third win in a row.
“I’m just proud of our guys to be able to come back from being down double digits on the road early in the second half,” second-year TSU Head Coach Dana Ford said. “They showed a lot of resilience and a lot of character. We snuck out a road win in February, which is great, and I couldn’t be happier.”
DeShields, who scored his 1,000th career point on a jumper from just inside the three-point arc with 11:52 left in the first half, also dished out a season-best seven assists. The Baltimore, Md. native scored 604 points in three seasons at Montana from 2011-14 before transferring to TSU.
Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) paced the offense with 22 points, while Xavier Richards (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands) added 11. For the second game in a row, Demontez Loman (South Port, N.C.) led the rebounding effort with nine.
After trailing since the opening minutes of the game, a three from Marcus Roper (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) with 2:43 left before half gave the Tigers a 35-34 advantage. The Colonels closed the half on a 7-2 run to take a 41-37 halftime edge.
EKU was able to grow its lead to 10 in the first four minutes of the second half before the Tigers clawed back into the game. TSU leveled the scoring at 56-56 when McCall banked in a three as the shot clock expired with 9:35 remaining. On the next possession, McCall was fouled while shooting a three and made all three free throws for a 59-56 lead.
From there, the score remained close with TSU unable to pull away from the Colonels.
McCall, who shot 11-for-13 from the line, was fouled with 20.0 seconds left, making both for a 77-74 lead. EKU’s Paul Jackson answered with two free throws on the other end with 14.4 seconds left before DeShields knocked down two at the line with 13.6 seconds remaining for a 79-76 edge.
Reischel’s tip in with 6.0 seconds left cut the lead to 79-78, and the Colonels forced a jump ball with 1.9 seconds left to gain possession. Off the inbounds play, Reischel missed a contested jumper as the buzzer sounded.
Both teams committed 18 turnovers in the game. TSU finished 47.8 percent from the field, while EKU had a 35-31 rebounding advantage.
Ja’Mill Powell scored a game-high 25 points for the Colonels.
Up next, TSU travels to Morehead, Ky. to take on Morehead State on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. CT.
GAME NOTES: Tennessee State moves to 26-33 in the all-time series versus EKU… TSU’s last win at EKU came on March 1, 2008… TSU is 7-5 in true road games this season… TSU is 3-0 when playing a team for the second time this season… Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) scored his 1,000th career point at the Division I level. DeShields scored 604 points while playing at Montana from 2011-14.
TSU Head Coach Dana Ford
“They’re very talented and they’re hard to guard man-to-man. They’re bigger than us at every position and a little bit faster and athletic, so we had to go to a little contain pressure as well as a zone just to keep the game under control.”
- On adjustments made to get the win
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for a kid who had a choice to go to a lot of different places and chose to come to Tennessee State. He’s been an unbelievable player and just unbelievable for us for the last two years. We’re happy that he could eclipse such a great mark of 1,000 career points, and we’re just happy to have him.”
- On Keron DeShields reaching 1,000 career points
TSU Guard Keron DeShields
“It was a great team win. We stuck though towards the end and to be honest, we needed that. We needed that close game experience. Most games down the stretch when you’re trying to get to the NCAA Tournament will come down to that, so we’re just glad that we got that experience today.”
- On the team’s win
“It’s a blessing. They told me I couldn’t go D-1 and look at it now. They told me I was too small and too slow, but now I scored 1,000 points, and it’s all thanks to God.
- On scoring his 1,000th career point