|February 11, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TSUMBB||JSU|
|FG Percentage||.333 (18-54)||.395 (15-38)|
|3P FG Percentage||.200 (4-20)||.296 (8-27)|
|FT Percentage||.630 (17-27)||.758 (25-33)|
MEKOWULU - 2
MARTIN - 2
DURHAM - 1
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team was handed a 63-57 road loss at Jacksonville State at Pete Mathews Coliseum on Saturday evening in Ohio Valley Conference play. Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a team-high 18 points with Armani Chaney (Chicago, Ill.) tallying 15 for the Tigers.
Strong defense was the story of the day with both teams finding points hard to come by. TSU (15-11, 6-7 OVC) trailed 26-18 at the half. The Gamecocks (16-12, 8-5 OVC) held off the Tigers’ second half comeback and outscored the visitors, 24-17, over the last six minutes to earn the win.
After trailing by as many as 12 points in the first half, TSU stormed all the way back and took a 40-39 lead on a three from Chaney with 6:12 left in the second half. JSU was able to regain the lead on the next possession and never gave it up. Jacksonville State made 10 free throws in the final minute to ice the game.
JSU took the upper hand in the early going, securing a 20-10 lead with 7:33 left in the first half. The Tigers trailed by double digits until another layup by Martin followed by a free throw from Christian Mekowulu (Lagos, Nigeria) put TSU down just eight at 26-18 heading to halftime. Martin led the way with seven first half points for Tennessee State.
TSU’s defense held the Gamecocks off the scoreboard for the first 4:40 of the second half, but JSU would go on to take an 11-point edge with 13:30 left.
Later in the half, Martin’s steal and breakaway layup followed by a Chaney layup trimmed the deficit to 33-29 with just under 11 minutes to play.
After more back-and-forth action, Chaney’s three with just over six minutes left gave TSU its first lead of the second half at 40-39.
A quick 5-0 run swung the momentum back to the Gamecocks. The Tigers were able to cut the deficit to two, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Tennessee State turned the ball over a season-low four times on the night, but finished 33.3 percent (18-of-54) from the field. Jacksonville State shot 39.5 percent (15-of-38) and was led in scoring by 24 points from Greg Tucker.
Next up, TSU returns home to the Gentry Center to host Morehead State on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. The game will air live on national TV on ESPNU.
GAME NOTES: TSU is now 17-13 in the all-time series versus Jacksonville State… The Tigers had won two in a row entering Saturday… Tennessee State leading scorer Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) missed his third-consecutive game with injury.
TSU Head Coach Dana Ford
“I thought our guys had a great effort tonight. Really struggled from the floor offensively. I thought some of the looks were good and others were rushed and forced, but you have to give Jacksonville State a lot of credit on the defensive end. They’re one of the better teams in the league defensively, and we just have to go back to the drawing board and regroup.”
- On the team’s performance
“Armani Chaney is playing a lot more. He’s a true point guard. He really does a good job of valuing the basketball. Our guys had a lot of ball toughness tonight. We cut hard and made ourselves available, but we just couldn’t seem to find any open cracks early in the other team’s defense that would allow us to get good looks, but we were getting shots at the rim almost every possession.
- On the team turning the ball over just four times
“I just thought we had a total team effort. Defensively, guys were doing their job, and we had some urgency about us. We were helping each other. We were giving them one shot and we just couldn’t seem to get over the hump offensively. We’ll have to figure out a way to not have such long scoring droughts and not put so much pressure on our defense.”
- On TSU’s defense