|November 18, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||MT||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.500 (25-50)||.385 (20-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.360 (9-25)||.333 (7-21)|
|FT Percentage||.696 (16-23)||.720 (18-25)|
JOHNSON - 1
SIMMONS - 1
DUKE - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 65 - RV/NR Middle Tennessee 75
Records: TSU (1-2) – Middle Tennessee (3-1)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- A strong second half by the Tennessee State men’s basketball team was not enough to overcome the hot shooting of defending Conference USA Champion Middle Tennessee in Saturday’s 75-65 defeat at the Gentry Center.
TSU (1-2) outscored the Blue Raiders (3-1) by a 39-35 margin in the second half and held a 34-33 rebounding edge on the night. Middle Tennessee shot 25-for-50 (50.0 percent) from the floor, however, to pick up the road win.
The Tigers trailed by a 40-26 margin at halftime and cut the Blue Raiders’ edge down to nine points with just over three minutes left in the second half, but was not able to complete the comeback.
Junior point guard Armani Chaney posted a team-high 14 points to go with four assists, while Darreon Reddick tacked on 13 points and Delano Spencer added 12.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU Leaders
- Points – Armani Chaney - 14
- Rebounds – Christian Mekowulu- 8
- Assists – Armani Chaney - 4
- TSU scored 24 points in the paint to Middle Tennessee’s 18.
- TSU used its third different starting lineup this season.
- The Tigers outrebounded the Blue Raiders by a 34-33 margin.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- MTSU sprinted out of the gate to the tune of a 14-3 lead in the opening seven minutes before Kamar McKnight got the Tigers back in the game with a six-consecutive points.
- Later in the half, a three from Darreon Reddick pulled TSU within seven points at 24-17 with 5:22 to go before the half.
- MTSU grew the lead to as many as 18 points at 40-24 with 28 seconds left before halftime and held a 40-26 halftime edge.
- A 7-0 run early in the second half helped the Tigers cut the deficit down to 46-36 aided by five points from Delano Spencer during the run.
- After the Blue Raiders went back up by 20, TSU refused to go away, using a 6-0 run to get within 14 at 61-47.
- A Spencer three-pointer with just over three minutes left had TSU within nine at 68-59, but that was as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way.
- Middle Tennessee received votes in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and was not ranked the USA Today Coaches Poll.
- TSU is now 17-39 versus Middle Tennessee.
- TSU is 24-17 in home contests at the Gentry Center under Ford.
- TSU opened the scoring with a three-pointer at 18:23.
- Darreon Reddick scored double-digit points (13) for the 32nd time of his career.
- Delano Spencer has scored double-digits (12) in 14 contests at TSU.
- Armani Chaney recorded his eighth double-digit game in his career.
Head Coach Dana Ford
“Disappointed in our approach today. Credit to MTSU. I thought they came out and was aggressive in trying to do some things and made some shots that have not been making thus far this year. All the credit goes to them. In terms of us, we’ve got to get more aggressive and we’ve got to try to play the game the way we’ve practiced for 32 times leading up to today.”
- Thoughts on the game
“I think it starts with moving the ball, making yourself available and being an aggressive player. We encourage ball movement – ball, top side – we encourage getting down hill. We encourage post feeds and playing off the post. For whatever reason, we came out and we didn’t try to do those things. They’re so good defensively, if you don’t get player movement – ball movement, then you’re not going to have much success.”
- On overcoming a slow start
“We should try to get it inside every time, but again, I don’t think we executed what we’ve tried to practice for whatever reason. I’m not just talking about attacking the basket aggression. I’m talking about their overall approach. The role players from last year can’t be role players this year. The guys that didn’t play last year can’t not play this year. These guys need to step up, start acting like they belong and play this game in a manner in which it means something to them in order for them to be as good as they can be. Until that light bulb goes off, we’ll struggle against teams that can do that. MTSU does that. Kansas does that. That’s where we are right now. That’s what I mean when I say aggressive.”
- On wanting his team to be aggressive
Junior Guard Armani Chaney
“It’s kind of tough. When you go in the game you have a mindset of playing at an even slate. The game plan changes when you find yourself down and you have to fight your way back. Basketball is a game of runs; every team gets their chances to make runs.”
- On playing from behind
“Basically you want to make a smart play. We wanted to attack and stop the clock to slow their momentum down. I felt like we had a lot of good open shots, but they just came out on fire. That was the difference.”
- On getting back in the game
“I don’t feel like it affected us, we prepared well for their defense. We didn’t have that many turnovers, so we didn’t do too bad with the pressure.”
- On facing multiple looks on defense
- TSU plays its second-consecutive home game, taking on Canisius on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.
- The game is set for the OVC Digital Network and 102.1 The Ville.