|February 17, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||EKU||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.533 (24-45)||.375 (21-56)|
|3P FG Percentage||.417 (10-24)||.238 (5-21)|
|FT Percentage||.778 (14-18)||.632 (12-19)|
MEKOWULU - 12
CHARLES - 3
REDDICK - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 59 - Eastern Kentucky 72
Records: TSU (15-12, 10-6 OVC) – EKU (10-19, 4-12 OVC)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team suffered a 72-59 defeat to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday night at the Gentry Center in Ohio Valley Conference play in TSU’s final home game of the 2017-18 season. TSU honored seniors Delano Spencer, Ken’Darrius Hamilton and Darreon Reddick prior to the game with a Senior Night ceremony.
TSU (15-12, 10-6 OVC) could not overcome the hot shooting of EKU (10-19, 4-12 OVC), which shot 53.3 percent (24-of-45) from the floor.
Juniors Christian Mekowulu and Armani Chaney scored 12 points apiece for the Tigers on the night.
TSU had won seven-consecutive games entering Saturday.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU LEADERS
- POINTS – Armani Chaney and Christian Mekowulu – 12
- REBOUNDS – Christian Mekowulu - 8
- ASSISTS – Armani Chaney - 3
- Christian Mekowulu scored in double figures for the 17th time this year and the 30th time in his career.
- Armani Chaney reached double-digit points for the seventh time this season and 14th time in his career.
- TSU outscored EKU by a 32-22 margin in the paint.
- The Tigers forced 18 turnovers.
- Chaney led TSU with four steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Hot shooting by the Colonels put TSU in a 22-13 hole at the mid-way point of the first half.
- Despite shooting 6-of-20 (30.0 percent) with four minutes left in the half, TSU only trailed by five at 25-20.
- TSU scored the final four points of the first half to cut EKU’s lead down to 31-24.
- The Colonels were able to stretch the lead the double digits with four quick points to open the half.
- The Tigers cut the deficit down to seven on three occasions but could get no closer in the second half.
- Tennessee State is now 29-34 in the all-time series versus Eastern Kentucky.
- TSU defeated EKU earlier in the season on Feb. 3 by a 73-60 final score in Richmond, Ky.
- TSU finishes with a 9-5 record in home games at the Gentry Center this season.
HEAD COACH DANA FORD
“Congrats to Eastern Kentucky. They were well prepared. Played harder than us, played smarter than us, and those things are on me. Effort and execution are definitely on me, and I’ve got to do a better job. I’m proud of our guys, too. I just feel bad for Darreon (Reddick) and Delano (Spencer) and Ken’Darrius (Hamilton), but again it’s just one game.”
-Overview of the game
“I mean, just been invaluable. Darreon Reddick has definitely been invaluable. He’s been here for four years. He’s been a starter. He’s helped make our program respectable and just been a dream to coach. Really, really proud of him - same thing with Delano and Ken’Darrius Hamilton. Last year was their first year here. We received votes in the (Associated Press) Top 25, biggest turnaround in Division I one of those years - on pace to tie or set a school record for wins in a three year span. This class has been really good and hopefully it’s the foundation of our program.”
-On the seniors
“Well its exactly that, I mean, you put it behind you. We can shoot better than what we did tonight. The most disappointing thing, you don’t win with making shots, you win with defense and rebounding. We gave up 72 points, and to be honest, it started last game we gave up 72 points and the team almost made half their shots, and fortunately, we were making shots. That’s why we don’t depend on shot making. We depend on defense and rebounding. Tip your hat. EKU - they had our number.”
- On moving on from this game
- TSU heads to Cookeville, Tenn. to take on Tennessee Tech on Thursday, Feb. 22.