|January 04, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||JSU||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.446 (25-56)||.479 (23-48)|
|3P FG Percentage||.417 (10-24)||.300 (6-20)|
|FT Percentage||.000 (0-3)||1.000 (15-15)|
BURNELL - 1
DRUMWRIGHT - 1
CUNNINGHAM - 1
CUNNINGHAM - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 67 – Jacksonville State 60
Records: TSU (6-8, 1-2 OVC) – JSU (11-5, 2-1 OVC)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- Delano Spencer scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the Tennessee State men’s basketball team to a 67-60 win over defending Ohio Valley Conference Champion Jacksonville State on Thursday night at the Gentry Center.
TSU (6-8, 1-2 OVC), playing its first home game since Dec. 2, forced 16 turnovers and shot 47.9 percent (23-of-48) from the floor on the night.
The score was tied at 25-25 at the half before the Tigers outscored the Gamecocks (11-5, 2-1 OVC) by a 42-35 margin in the second half.
TSU also picked up double-digit scoring efforts from Christian Mekowulu and Armani Chaney with 14 points apiece.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU LEADERS
- Points – Delano Spencer - 20
- Rebounds – Christian Mekowulu - 9
- Assists – Armani Chaney- 6
- Steals – Armani Chaney- 5
- TSU was a perfect 15-for-15 from the free throw line.
- There were nine ties and 13 lead changes in the game.
- Delano Spencer scored in double digits for the 12th time this season, 23rd time in his career.
- Armani Chaney scored in double figures for the third time this year and 10th through his first three seasons.
- Christian Mekowulu reached double digit points for the 21st time, eighth this season.
- TSU outscored JSU in the paint by a 28-20 margin.
- The Tigers forced the Gamecocks into 16 turnovers and scored 19 points off the JSU miscues.
- Armani Chaney 5'10 recorded his first blocked shot of the season, blocking 7'0 Norbertas Giga under the basket.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Tigers built up an early 11-4 advantage powered by a jumper and three-pointer from Armani Chaney.
- After JSU took a 15-13 edge midway through the first half, TSU’s defense clamped down – holding the Gamecocks without a point for more than six minutes.
- The back-and-forth first half ended with both teams with 25 points. Chaney led all scorers with 12 points in the opening half. The Tigers shot 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from the floor in the first half.
- A three from Ken’Darrius Hamilton gave the Tigers a 41-36 lead with 13:37 to play.
- Spencer’s three-point play up the Tigers back up 50-47 at the under-eight minute media time.
- A Mekowulu dunk and a three-point play from Reddick gave the Tigers a 59-54 lead.
- The Gamecocks pulled to within three points on three occasions in the final 1:02 of the game, but TSU had the answer down the stretch with a Mekowulu tip-in and four free throws from Delano Spencer in the last 34 seconds.
- TSU is now 18-13 in the all-time series versus Jacksonville State.
- The contest was the first in the Gentry Center since Dec. 2 and is the first of six games at home in the month of January.
- TSU held JSU scoreless for a span of 6:08 during the first half; the Gamecocks were held to their second lowest first half point total (25) of the season.
Head Coach Dana Ford
“I just thought this was the first time we played a complete game from start to finish in quite some time. Credit to the players. We’ve really challenged them lately to play with that ‘dog mentality.’ It’s like anything. It’s on them. They’ve got to go out there and figure it out. I thought tonight that for 40 minutes everyone was accountable for what they were supposed to do and they were a great teammate. Fortunately for us, that led us to being able to win against a great team.”
-Overview of the game
“Well I hope it solidifies what this group already knows. That they if they play well as a team, they can beat anybody that’s left on our schedule. But you’ve got to be a dog. You go out there and play the game like you’re in the third grade. When it’s your turn, it’s your turn. I thought tonight they took advantage of your turn. Now we have to turn around and do the same thing in practice, and then the same thing on Saturday.”
-On the defense
“They were accountable. They did what they were supposed to do. Those guys have been here over 15 years if you combine all their years. If I’ve got to tell them what to do every practice and every game in order to get the dog out of them, then that’s uncalled for. Tonight, I didn’t have to do that, and they played well. Mekowulu was great for the second half, and Armani was good for 40 minutes. Reddick played with the mentality that he always played with. We didn’t let anything that happened on the offense affect our defense. We always guarded here, and that’s how we’re going to win, and we’re fine with that.”
-On the offense
“It’s a big win. People are looking for a win for a couple weeks now. We have to be mentally tough, because we’ve been on a losing streak. I feel like guys wanted us to win. I think it’s a big win moving forward.”
-On the first OVC win
“I like it. Coach Ford kept telling me I had to be aggressive. I like when coaches challenge me. So I came out here today. I like when coaches challenge me and play against other bigs like me.”
-On playing against other great posts
“It’s a good experience. Laying in your own bed and waking up at your own time. I felt like that helped us. It’s a big win at home.”
-On playing at home after a month on the road
“I was being aggressive. I was listening to my teammates. They told me to shoot the open shots, don’t hesitate and step in and make shots. That is what I tried to do for my team. I was aggressive early and the shots fell.”
-On what worked offensively
“Of course it’s a big win because they are the defending champs of the OVC. We really are trying to worry about ourselves. It’s a big win for the team because it’s a win on the schedule. We’re just trying to keep building and keep winning games.”
-On defeating the reigning OVC Champs
- TSU hosts Tennessee Tech at the Gentry Center on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 4 p.m.