|November 26, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||REIN||TSUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.400 (22-55)||.571 (32-56)|
|3P FG Percentage||.361 (13-36)||.615 (8-13)|
|FT Percentage||.778 (7-9)||.615 (24-39)|
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team overcame the hot first-half shooting of Reinhardt in a 96-64 victory at the Gentry Center on Saturday night in the Tigers’ home opener. Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) secured his second career double-double with 11 points and 11 boards, while Jordan Reed (Philadelphia, Pa.) eclipsed 1,000 career points on the night.
TSU, which received a vote in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 Poll, is 6-0 for the first time since moving to Division I prior to the 1977-78 season.
Six TSU players scored in double figures led by a career-high 18 points off the bench for Delano Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) to go with 14 for Ken’Darrius Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala.), 11 apiece for McCall and Christian Mekowulu (Lagos, Nigeria) and 10 points for Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
Reinhardt led by as many as five points, hitting eight three-pointers in the opening nine minutes of the game for a 24-19 advantage. TSU stormed back and later used a 9-0 run to take a 42-33 advantage. The Tigers took a 47-45 lead into halftime. The 47 points were the most for TSU in a half this season before scoring 49 in the second half.
Reinhardt shot 13-for-29 (44.8 percent) from three-point range in the first half.
Holding a two-point lead, the Tigers went on an 8-0 run sparked by steals on the defensive end for a 59-49 lead with 16:24 left in the second half.
Reed, who scored 931 points in three seasons for Binghamton, reached 1,000 for his career with two made free throws with 10:49 left in the second half.
The Tigers pulled away as the lead grew to 20 points before reaching 30 in the final three minutes of the contest.
The TSU defense clamped down in the second half, forcing 13 turnovers and holding Reinhardt to 0-for-13 shooting on three-pointers in the closing 20 minutes.
Tennessee State shot 57.1 percent (32-for-56) from the field and outrebounded the Eagles, 36-31. Reinhardt was led by 15 points off the bench for Nehemiah Jones.
Up next, TSU takes on Vanderbilt on the road on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. The game will air live on SEC Network Plus.
GAME NOTES: TSU is now 3-0 in the all-time series versus Reinhardt… Tennessee State was making its home debut after five games in a row to open the season… TSU went 11-3 at the Gentry Center last season… Tennessee State received one vote in the Nov. 21 Associated Press Top 25 and ranked 20th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll… Jalen Duke (Nashville, Tenn.) and Khalill Spencer (Memphis, Tenn.) made their collegiate debuts for TSU… The last time TSU had six players score in double figures was Nov. 14, 2014 versus Reinhardt… Jordan Reed (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored 931 points while playing for Binghamton for three seasons before reaching 1,000 career points on the night.
TSU Head Coach Dana Ford
“I am proud of our players; we are 6-0, for the first time in program history. We are getting votes in the Top 25; we are ranked in the mid-major polls. We had a rough first half tonight, which is fine with me, considering it is a long year. You have to give Reinhart credit, they made 13 threes in the first. That is what we try to force teams to do, but all-in-all we came out in the second half and defended a little bit better and the averages worked out fine.”
- On Tonight’s Game versus Reinhart
“The abilities to make three’s can either shoot you in or shoot you out. In the first half it shot them in, again you have to give them credit because some of them were deep, some were off the dribble, some were contested and some were not, which we will try and fix that. And the fact they changed their defenses, I thought Tahjere McCall tried his best to get us squared away in the right offensive attack. We didn’t turn it over very much. We were not as crisp as much as we could be, but again, you have to give them credit for preparing for us and having a good game plan.”
- On Reinhart’s Attack from Three-Point Range
“We made a few coaching adjustments, but more importantly our players adjusted their urgency level and their intensity. We practiced them hard yesterday for an extended period of time. We felt like our last game we did not defend or do some things that we normally do and we tried to get a point across yesterday in practice and maybe it too them a half to get their legs underneath them, but I think once they did that, things worked out in our favor.”
- On Teams Defensive Adjustment
“I like it. The more the merrier. It is good to see Delano Spencer make shots. We still need to get some other players to make their shots, but I think the will in due time. It was good to see Christian Mekowulu play a little bit and Ken’Darrius Hamilton was really good in the first half; Tahjere McCall made some good plays; again, the more the merrier for us.”
- On Six Players in Double Digits
“Hopefully we can get people to come out and watch us. One of the few things I am disappointed in tonight is the energy in our own building. Our team is undefeated; we are receiving votes in the Top 25 for the best 25 teams in the country. Hopefully we will get some people to come over to watch us play against Vanderbilt. If not, it will be 15,000 against 15 players and we will have to create our own energy. But I am looking forward to going over there and playing a game. This is college basketball and we can say our team is playing at a pretty high level. Now will we be able to consistently perform at this level all year long, I am not sure. But as of today, I think these kids deserve a good crowd, no matter where they are playing.”
- On Playing at Vanderbilt
TSU Guard Tahjere McCall
It was a tough one tonight. They came out swinging. They played really good. The way we practice, we just have to stay with it for 40 minutes and that’s what we did. We came out on top, so it was a good team win. I think almost everybody played and almost everybody got a shot up and played defense and got a feel for the game. It was a really good win.”
- On beating Reinhardt
“I’d like to think it was us, but they just missed some shots. We picked up the intensity and got locked in a little bit. In the first half, it was mind blowing how they were shooting. They made a lot of shots. We had to stay true to who we are and just hopefully it would come out in our favor. In the second half, we just kept doing what we were doing. They started to miss shots and we started to pick it up. It was just good to come out on top.”
- On holding Reinhardt to 19 points in the second half.
TSU Guard Delano Spencer
“The team did a good job of getting me involved. We moved the ball well and it started on the defensive end. It carried over to the offensive end, so everything fed it good together. Everybody played together.”
- On being more comfortable in his role
“They tried to get us out of our pace. I think we did a good job of handling it. Coach (Dana) Ford got us together and, like I said, it started on the defensive end, and that helped us out a lot.”
- On handling Reinhardt’s full-court press