|November 21, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||CAN||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.408 (20-49)||.468 (22-47)|
|3P FG Percentage||.310 (9-29)||.348 (8-23)|
|FT Percentage||.750 (3-4)||.727 (8-11)|
Molson - 1
Reese - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 60 - Canisius 52
Records: TSU (2-2) – Canisius (1-3)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- Trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team stormed all the way back for a 60-52 come-from-behind victory over visiting Canisius at the Gentry Center on Tuesday night in non-conference action.
TSU (2-2) used smothering defense in the second half, holding the Golden Griffins (1-3) to just 17 points in the second half on 7-for-22 (31.8 percent) shooting. On the night, the Tigers forced 21 turnovers.
On the offensive end, junior point guard Armani Chaney facilitated the offense all night with a career-high eight assists, while Ken’Darrius Hamilton posted team highs for points (19) and rebounds (8).
Delano Spencer added 16 points while Christian Mekowulu went for 14 in a winning cause.
The Tigers trailed Canisius by a 35-26 margin at the half but outscored the Golden Griffins by a 34-17 score the rest of the way for the second win of the young season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU Leaders
- Points – Ken’Darrius Hamilton - 19
- Rebounds – Ken’Darrius Hamilton - 8
- Assists – Armani Chaney – 8
- Armani Chaney’s previous career high for assists was 5, which he accomplished three times.
- The Tigers held its opponent under 20 points in a half for the first time this season.
- TSU forced a season-high 21 turnovers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- TSU claimed a 12-11 advantage just over six minutes into the game before an 8-0 Canisius run put the Golden Griffins on top at 19-12.
- The Tigers clawed back and tied the scoring at 21-21 on an acrobatic layup from Darreon Reddick with 7:21 to go before halftime. Canisius was able to outscore the Tigers by a 14-5 margin the rest of the half to take a 35-26 edge into the locker rooms.
- Ken’Darrius Hamilton led the Tigers with 13 points, five rebounds and three steals in the opening 20 minutes.
- By the first media timeout of the second half, TSU had knotted the score at 37-37.
- Mekowulu reached double figures with back-to-back layups for a 43-39 TSU advantage with 14 minutes to go in the second half.
- A transition three from Chaney in the left corner pushed the TSU lead up to 53-47 with 7:05 showing on the second half clock.
- The Tigers were on pace to hold Canisius under 50 points until Spencer Foley knocked down a three-pointer with three seconds left in the game.
- This marks the first contest played in Nashville between the two teams.
- Previous two were played in Buffalo, N.Y. (1964, 2016).
- Tigers are now 3-0 versus Canisius.
- TSU is now 25-17 in home contests at the Gentry Center under Ford.
- The Tigers are 2-0 versus Canisius under Ford.
- The Tigers went on an 11-0 run after the first points of the half, spanning 2:33.
- Double-Digit Scorers
- Ken’Darrius Hamilton (19) second of the season, 10th of his career
- Christian Mekowulu (14) first of the season, 14th of his career
- Delano Spencer (16) all four games this season, 15th of his career
Head Coach Dana Ford
“I thought this was a gut-check for us. 2-2 is a lot better for us than 1-3. I think guys are still continuing to build confidence in their new roles. Hopefully we can build off of our second half defensive effort. Giving up 17 points in a half to that team is pretty good. They just scored 104 in their last game and they are so well coach, they execute so well. They are so unselfish; they shoot the basketball extremely well from five positions. I thought our guys really dug deep and came away with a win.”
- Thoughts on the game
“I thought we had urgency. I thought we were there on the catch. I thought our hands were high and active. I thought our help was early. We did a containment press. They like to get the ball going from side-to-side. So defending them for 28 seconds is tough, it is a lot different if you can get it down to 20. I thought we did a good job of being focused enough to get into our press on made baskets. That is a leadership thing. And I thought Armani Chaney was good with that tonight, along with Darreon Reddick and Delano Spencer.”
- On second half defense
“He is judged by wins here. If we win, he played well. If we lose, then he didn’t play very well. He played really well today because this is a very good win.”
- On Armani Chaney
“I am very proud of him today in his approach, his level of focus and his ability to stay engaged in the game, even when he was in the bench. I have to watch the tape to see what his defensive effort was, but I thought he was active around the glass. He gives us a guy who can stretch the defense and currently he is the only guy who is consistently making shots the last couple games. Hopefully these other guys who are getting some opportunities can step up and make some shots.”
- On Ken’Darrius Hamilton
“I think we broke the ice today. We’ve played Kansas, who was number four in America, MTSU who was receiving votes at the time played them and then we just played a really good team today that’s averaging 86 points a game, and before that shot at the buzzard, we held them to 49. It’s early, we’ve played four games, and we will continue to build and get better. But we need more guys to step it up. Some of our guys who are getting those spot minutes are starting to come along and they are going to get their opportunity. We just need to develop more depth. I believe that is the next phase for us, along with continuing to develop who our marquee guys are, and our role guys.”
- On first win versus a D-I opponent
Senior Forward/Center Ken’Darrius Hamilton
“My team put me in good position to make plays. We just ran our offense. I got some open shots and knocked them down. I just took advantage of them when I got the opportunity.”
- On scoring game high 19 points
“It’s big for us. He is our head to the snake. He has to be the court general and it is important that he has his head on right, and I feel he did tonight. He led our team with those assists and that is what a point guard is supposed to do.”
- On Armani Chaney’s eight assists
“It was very important. We had been in a little slump after losing a couple games. But we have to put some wins together to get a good streak going.”
- On getting first win versus D-I opponent
Redshirt-Junior Forward Christian Mekowulu
“We were talking about stops in the locker room. We started off slow, but we came back after halftime needing to make those stops, because the score wasn’t going to change. So we all came out as a team and made stops and put the ball in the hole.”
- On key to making a comeback
- Tennessee State heads to Kennesaw State to take on the Owls for a non-conference tilt on Saturday, Nov. 25.
- The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) start on ESPN3.