NASHVILLE --- Balanced scoring and stifling defense carried the Tennessee State men’s basketball team to a 77-43 win over Fisk in an exhibition game on Thursday night at the Gentry Center. Six different TSU players scored seven or more points on the night.
Armani Chaney (Chicago, Ill.) recorded a team-high nine points to lead the TSU offense, while Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added eight points and seven rebounds for the Tigers. On the other end of the floor, the Tigers held the Bulldogs to 22.4 percent (13-for-58) shooting. For TSU, 13 different players saw the floor on the night.
After Fisk took an early 6-1 lead just two minutes into the game, the Tigers quickly leveled the scoring at 6-6 on a three by Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) and a jumper by A’Torey Everett (Dallas, Texas).
Later in the half with a 19-12 lead, the Tigers exploded for a 13-0 run to stretch the advantage to 32-12 with 2:30 left before halftime. TSU closed the half with a 40-18 advantage. TSU’s offense was efficient in the first half, finishing 15-for-30 (50 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes.
The Tigers turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, limiting the Bulldogs to 19.4 percent shooting. TSU took its biggest lead of the night of 36 points at 75-39 on a three-pointer from Thomas Davis (Nashville, Tenn.).
Fisk’s Walter Arnold led all scorers with 13 points on the night.
The Tigers held a 55-32 rebounding edge and shot 49.1 percent (26-for-53) on field goals.
TSU will open the regular season with three games at the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara, Calif. beginning on Nov. 11 versus UC Davis.
GAME NOTES: Thursday night’s contest was TSU’s lone exhibition of the 2016-17 season… TSU is 16-3 in regular season games versus Fisk.
Head Coach Dana Ford
“I thought our guys competed for 40 minutes and tried to compete as a unit. I was pretty pleased with how they came out in the second half and tried to continue to compete hard and not pay much attention to the scoreboard. That was encouraging. Couple things we have to get better at, we turned the ball over 17 times which is definitely too high of a number no matter what game you’re playing in. We need to clean up our free throw shooting a little bit and also keep them off the free throw line, but overall, I thought our guys competed pretty hard tonight.”
- General Thoughts on the Game
“I thought we did ok. We wanted to force them to shoot threes. They were smaller than us, they’re quicker than us. They had quick first steps and we didn’t want to give up driving lanes. I feel we did fairly well with that. They shot around 26-percent; we will live with that number every night.”
- On Defensive Performance
“It is early to tell what we have. A lot of guys played their first game in a TSU uniform tonight. Obviously we wanted to get as many players into the rotation as possible. I was pleased we did not have to play certain guys very many minutes.”
- On Expectation Balance Scoring
“We are fairly healthy, that’s the top thing. Just trying to find that rhythm, find our rotation, that’s what we are really searching for now.”
- On Key Points from the Game
“Jordan Reed played tonight, got in early foul trouble he did better in the second half. He just needs to adjust to the officiating. Some new guys, Ken’Darrius Hamilton played a lot tonight. Armani Chaney saw extensive minutes. We need to see what they can do. A lot of our success will depend on if our young players can produce for us early in the season.”
- On the Use of First Year Players
Sophomore Guard Armani Chaney
“It was pretty fun. Everybody was energetic because it was our first game as a team. We were trying to see what everyone could do, since we are trying to fill in the pieces. It was fun.”
- On Getting Back on the Floor
“We competed hard. We were trying to complete a task as a team. We tried to do the things we do as a team; perform as a team. That was the positive we did everything as a team”
- On the Positives Taken from Fisk Exhibition
“We can go deep on our bench. Teams cannot really scout us; you never know, anyone can go for 20 points on any given night.”
- On the Team’s Balanced Scoring
Sophomore Guard A’Torey Everett
“It was exciting. Good to get back out there. I haven’t played since junior college. It was fun.”
- On Playing for the First Time at Tennessee State
“I think they did well. They were aggressive, nobody was shy. We did the defensive principles. It is never going to be good enough for Coach Ford, but we did well defensively. We held them to 43 points and we met our goal in the first half.”
- On the Play of the Newcomers
“I think we will be prepared. I think we will be good.”
- On How this Helps Prepare Team for Season