|February 08, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||BEL||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.447 (21-47)||.391 (18-46)|
|3P FG Percentage||.286 (8-28)||.304 (7-23)|
|FT Percentage||.667 (6-9)||.808 (21-26)|
- 2||CHAFFEE JR.
HAMILTON - 1
SPENCER - 1
CHANEY - 1
McKNIGHT - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 64 - Belmont 56
Records: TSU (13-11, 8-5 OVC) – Belmont (19-7, 11-2 OVC)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- Fueled by a double-double from Christian Mekowulu, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team earned a 64-56 victory over first-place Belmont on Thursday night at the Gentry Center in Ohio Valley Conference play. Mekowulu led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds for TSU, which has won five games in a row.
TSU (13-11, 8-5 OVC) has now won two of the last four meetings with Belmont (19-7, 11-2 OVC).
Mekowulu, who picked up his eighth career double-double, led four Tigers in double figures with Delano Spencer (14), Kamar McKnight (13) and Armani Chaney (12) also reaching double digits.
TSU trailed with four minutes to play before embarking on a 9-0 run to close the game to earn the home victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU LEADERS
- POINTS – Christian Mekowulu – 18
- REBOUNDS – Christian Mekowulu – 11
- ASSISTS – Armani Chaney – 3
- The Tigers forced nine first-half turnovers.
- Christian Mekowulu scored in double figures for the 16th time this season (29th career).
- For Mekowulu, it was his sixth double-double this season (8th career).
- Kamar McKnight reached double-digit points for the 11th time this year.
- Darreon Reddick scored in double figures for the 12th time this season (42nd career).
- Armani Chaney posted double figure points for the fifth time this season (12th career).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After a fast start gave the Bruins a 6-0 lead, TSU scored seven points in a row including an acrobatic layup from Kamar McKnight to take its first lead at 7-6 five minutes into the game.
- With a six-point lead later in the half, a 9-0 run capped by a Christian Mekowulu three pointer gave the Tigers their largest lead of the half at 28-15 with 5:41 to go before halftime.
- Armani Chaney’s running three pointer as the first-half clock expired gave the Tigers a 32-24 lead heading to the locker rooms.
- TSU scored the first five points of the second half to push the lead back up to 13 at 37-24.
- At the final media timeout, TSU held a 57-56 lead.
- The Tigers closed the game on a 9-0 run.
- Tennessee State is now 12-17 in the all-time series versus Belmont.
- The Tigers are 8-4 at home this season and 31-20 at the Gentry Center under fourth-year Head Coach Dana Ford.
- TSU has won two of the last four meetings with Belmont.
- The Tigers are 26-4 when holding an opponent under 60 points under fourth-year Head Coach Dana Ford.
Head Coach Dana Ford
“Proud of our guys. I thought that we, for the most part of the game, tried to do some things execution wise to keep them at bay. It's like I said all week, they have to miss some shots in order to guard them and I thought tonight, they missed some shots. A couple rattled out and to our guys' credit, we were able to rebound it and for the most part were able to control the tempo outside of those couple minutes of the first half. Austin Luke, who is definitely one of the best players of the league, almost took the game over.”
-Overview of the game
“He’s definitely an all-league player. He's probably player of the year if it stops right now. Their best all-around player. We don’t individualize our game plan against Belmont. It’s just how do we guard them as a team. He was one of those guys who missed a couple of shots he usually makes. Our transition defense in the second half was probably as bad as I’ve ever seen. We just wanted to give him his respect and treat him as the player he is, fortunately enough, he missed some shots.”
-On Belmont's Dylan Windler
“Our bench has been good all year long. (Kamar) McKnight is an aggressive player - a very confident player. He’s almost like a starter. He could be one easily. He can play multiple positions for us. He made some big shots in the second half. I think he made some threes and a layup when they were on a run. Stokley (Chaffee Jr.) has been good all year, minus a couple of silly fouls.”
-On deep bench
“The game was great. Obviously, I’m glad we beat Belmont. Big shout out to the coaches. They did a great job on the scouting report. We played as a team and got a win.”
-Overview of the game
“We practiced that all week. They’re going to play me, so the other team is going to scout me. So, when they dig, throw it back out and repost. That was the game play, and it worked out that way.”
-On kicking it back out
- TSU heads to Jacksonville, Ala. to take on Jacksonville State on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.
- The game will air live on the OVC Digital Network and on the 102.1 The Ville.