|January 25, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||SIUE||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.388 (19-49)||.538 (28-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.238 (5-21)||.474 (9-19)|
|FT Percentage||.667 (14-21)||.714 (20-28)|
HENRY - 11
ELLIS - 11
ELLIS - 3
Final Score: Tennessee State 85 - SIUE 57
Records: TSU (9-11, 4-5 OVC) – SIUE (7-13, 3-6 OVC)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team put on a dominating performance, leading start-to-finish, in a convincing 85-57 Ohio Valley Conference victory over visiting SIUE at the Gentry Center on Thursday night. Christian Mekowulu proved to be a force in the paint with a game-high 25 points to go with nine rebounds.
TSU (9-11, 4-5 OVC) held the Cougars (7-12, 3-6 OVC) to just 19 points in the first half and carried a 42-19 lead into halftime. The Tigers led by 15 or more points throughout the second half to cruise to victory.
In addition to Mekowulu, three other Tigers scored in double digits on the night with Ken’Darrius Hamilton (15), Delano Spencer (14) and Darreon Reddick (11) also putting up strong offensive performances.
On the defensive end, TSU limited the Cougars to 38.8 percent from the floor, including 23.8 percent from three-point range. On the other end, the Tigers finished 28-of-52 (53.8 percent) on field goals and made 9-of-19 from beyond the arc.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU LEADERS
- POINTS – Christian Mekowulu - 25
- REBOUNDS – Christian Mekowulu - 9
- ASSISTS – Armani Chaney - 6
- TSU outscored SIUE 34-20 in the paint.
- The Tigers scored 30 points off turnovers, forcing SIUE into 22 miscues.
- Delano Spencer scored in double figures for the 18th time this season and 29th time in his career.
- Christian Mekowulu put together his 13th game with 10-plus points this season – the 26th time in his career.
- Ken’Darrius Hamilton scored double-digit points for the ninth time this season and the 17th time of his career.
- Darreon Reddick recorded double figures for the 39th time of his career, ninth this season.
- The Tigers has held an opponent to under 20 points in a half for the third time this season.
- This marks the 18th time under Head Coach Dana Ford in his four seasons.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- TSU came up with defense stops on nine of the SIUE’s first 10 possessions for an 8-2 lead six minutes into the game.
- The Tigers continued to lock down on the defensive end, forcing six turnovers in the first eight minutes while taking a 16-4 advantage.
- TSU’s lead stretched to 21 on a three by Darreon Reddick with 1:22 left in the first half.
- The Tigers’ held SIUE to 19 points in the first half on 7-of-23 shooting. TSU forced SIUE into 13 first-half turnovers.
- TSU continued to dominate in the second half, taking a 30-point edge at 81-51 with 2:53 to play on a three from Daniel Cummings.
- Mekowulu scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the second half.
- TSU is 8-2 in the all-time series versus SIUE.
- The Tigers matched their largest halftime lead of the season (23, vs. Reinhart 11/13)
- Redshirt-junior Christian Mekowulu knocked down the first three-pointer of his career late in the second half.
Head Coach Dana Ford
“Well just pleased with our guys’ effort tonight. Especially in the first half. Defensively we did some things that we’re used to doing in terms of our intensity and helping each other and trying to limit people to one shot. Also pleased with our willingness to throw it inside which we have an advantage over most. I’m really proud of the guys tonight.”
-Overview of the game
“They missed a few easy ones but we did a good job of contesting shooters. We did a good job of helping down Henry (#24), their go-to guy. We made things hard for him. A lot of our ability to hold them defensively was our willingness to pass it inside. So the game, we could control the tempo. So for whatever reason we’ve got to reiterate that every day and tonight we tried to do it.”
“Thought he played well. I know he takes a beating down there. We give him the ball a lot. I think he did a good job. He makes himself available and made his free throws. It’s hard to complain with 25 and 9.”
“My team is putting me in the position to do this. This team was a team win. They put me in the position and I made plays.”
-On 25 points and nine rebounds
“It’s nice. I’m glad for this one and ready for the next one.”
-On the win
“Defensively we were getting after it. We followed the game plan of what our coaches wanted us to do and we stuck to it and we got after it on defense and rebounded well.”
-On what worked defensively
“That’s very exciting for our guys. They always cheer us on when we’re out there and very intense. We want to do the same thing for them. That’s just a good feeling. We all celebrating together and making it happen.”
-On everyone getting playing time
“We have to finish it out. We play a good one Saturday, so get after it Saturday.”
-On the next game versus SIUE
- TSU continues its homestand versus Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Jan. 27.
- Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the women’s game, which gets underway at 5:30 p.m.
- The game will air on the OVC Digital Network and on the radio on 102.1 The Ville.