|January 20, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||MUR||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.450 (27-60)||.365 (19-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.379 (11-29)||.200 (4-20)|
|FT Percentage||.846 (11-13)||.882 (15-17)|
REDDICK - 5
CHAFFEE JR. - 5
STARK - 2
Final Score: Tennessee State 57 - Murray State 76
Records: TSU (8-11, 3-5 OVC), Murray State (14-5, 6-2 OVC)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team suffered a 76-57 loss to Murray State in Ohio Valley Conference play at the Gentry Center on Saturday night. Delano Spencer scored a team-high 13 points to lead the Tigers.
After back-and-forth action in the opening 15 minutes, the Racers closed the first half on an 18-5 run to take a 38-26 halftime lead. In the second half, TSU cut Murray State’s lead down to six with just under seven minutes to play, but could not complete the comeback.
Christian Mekowulu added 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks for TSU, which scored 28 points in the paint on the night.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU LEADERS
- POINTS – Delano Spencer - 13
- REBOUNDS – Christian Mekowulu, Darreon Reddick and Stokley Chaffee Jr. - 5
- ASSISTS – Armani Chaney - 3
- TSU scored 16 of its 26 first-half points in the paint.
- Delano Spencer scored in double figures for the 17th time this season and 28th time in his career.
- Christian Mekowulu put together his 12th game with 10-plus points this season – the 25th time in his career.
- Mekowulu finished with four blocks on the night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Both teams struggled from the floor in the early going with the Tigers clinging to a 9-6 lead five minutes into the game.
- Over the next five minutes, the Racers had the better of the play, taking an eight point lead at 21-13.
- The lead was short-lived, however, as Stokley Chaffee Jr.’s dunk capped an 8-0 run that helped TSU level the scoring at 21-21.
- The Racers took a 38-26 lead into the locker room after ending the half on an 18-5 run.
- Murray State continued to lead by double digits until a jumper and a three from Delano Spencer trimmed the Tigers’ deficit down to 55-49 with 6:56 left in the game.
- At the final media timeout, the Tigers trailed 65-55 with just under four minutes to play, but that was as close as the Tigers would get down the stretch.
- TSU is 17-53 in the all-time series versus Murray State.
Head Coach Dana Ford
“First, you tip your hat to Murray State. They came in, they were a lot more ready to play than we were, executed with a lot more toughness and aggression than we did. They had some plays in the first half, and made some plays coming down the stretch. From top to bottom tonight, they out-coached us and out-played us, so you have to tip your hat.”
- Overview of the game
“We like for him to play as many minutes as possible. When he picks up two quick fouls, we obviously sit him. It hurt us a little bit. He’s such a good presence for us, but we’ve got other guys that have stepped up and played some good minutes as of late. I’m not sure if him being in foul trouble the first half effected us that much. It was a poor finish of the half on both sides of the floor that really caught up to us, but we’d prefer to have him out there.”
- Mekowulu foul trouble
“Yeah we just needed someone that could keep up with them and be able to move the same speed that he moves, but more importantly, we needed some size on their point guard. He continued to get down hill on us and create for other players. Stark is going to get his points. He leads the league in scoring and is one of the best players in America, but those other guys were chipping in as well, and number 12 was helping him get downhill, and we weren’t going a good job on defense so we wanted more size on the point guard and consequently getting matched up on Stark.”
- On Chaney guarding Jonathan Stark in the second half
“I think that was the key of the game. I have to do a better job of preparing our team when they face pressure on the perimeter to be able to play the way we need them to play. Throw the ball into Mekowulu and tonight, the pressure on the perimeter dictated the entire game.”
- On defensive pressure
- TSU welcomes SIUE to the Gentry Center on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m.
- The game will air live on the OVC Digital Network and on the radio on 102.1 The Ville.