|February 22, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TSU||TTU|
|FG Percentage||.393 (22-56)||.478 (22-46)|
|3P FG Percentage||.158 (3-19)||.429 (9-21)|
|FT Percentage||.654 (17-26)||.667 (16-24)|
PHILLIPS - 1
ALEXANDER - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 64 - Tennessee Tech 69
Records: TSU (15-13, 10-7 OVC) – Tennessee Tech (18-12, 10-7 OVC)
Venue: Eblen Center
Location: Cookeville, Tenn.
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- After trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team’s comeback fell short in a 69-64 road defeat versus Tennessee Tech at the Eblen Center in Ohio Valley Conference action.
The Tigers (15-13, 10-7 OVC) cut their deficit to four in the final minute before Tennessee Tech (18-12, 10-7 OVC) made four free throws in the final 20 seconds to pull away.
Christian Mekowulu led the way with 19 points for the Tigers, who finished with a 39-25 rebounding edge. Armani Chaney and Delano Spencer also added 16 points apiece for TSU.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU LEADERS
- POINTS – Christian Mekowulu - 19
- REBOUNDS – Delano Spencer - 8
- ASSISTS – Armani Chaney – 6
- Tennessee State outscored the Golden Eagles by a 36-26 margin in the paint for the game.
- Armani Chaney scored in double figures for the eighth time this season and 15th time in his career. He has now scored 10 or more points in four of his last five games.
- Delano Spencer reached double-digit points for the 24th time on the year. Spencer also secured a career-high eight rebounds on the night.
- Christian Mekowulu scored in double figures for the 18th time this season.
- Kamar McKnight had a career-best four steals on the night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After a quick 4-0 start for the Tigers, Tennessee Tech answered with an 11-0 run to seize control of the first half.
- Christian Mekowulu led TSU with eight first-half points including a dunk with just over five minutes left to pull the Tigers within six points at 19-13.
- The Golden Eagles drilled four three-pointers in the closing four minutes of the first half to take a 33-19 halftime edge.
- A free throw from Armani Chaney with just under 11 minutes left in the second half cut TSU’s deficit down to six at 42-36.
- After Tennessee Tech’s lead grew to 64-54 with 3:44 to go, the Tigers pulled to within four points on a dunk from Mekowulu with a minute left.
- The Golden Eagles made four free throws in the final 20 seconds to hold on down the stretch.
- Tennessee State is 32-34 in the all-time series versus Tennessee Tech.
- TSU fell to the Golden Eagles by an 87-81 final score in the first meeting this season on Jan. 8 at the Gentry Center.
- TSU is 6-8 in road games this season.
HEAD COACH DANA FORD
“Disappointed with our approach at the beginning of the game. We were prepared for this game. We’ve had four of five days to prepare, and we knew exactly what they were going to do. We did not come out with the right mindset in order to be successful in the first half.”
- Thoughts on the game
“Just a different mindset. We came in the locker room and had a different mindset. The guys that played had a great mindset, and that’s all it is this time of year. We didn’t do anything different from what we’ve been doing, but guys just decided that they were going to compete as hard as they could. They decided they were going to be as tough as they can, and that’s all this is this time of year. It’s that simple. Tough players win. Regular players just play to play. If they want to be tough, they’re going to win. If they don’t want to be tough, they’re not going to win.”
- On the second half comeback
“We just better get our mind right. Great program. They typically have their mind right. We don’t expect anything less. We better get our mind right.”
- On facing Belmont on Saturday
- TSU closes the regular season at Belmont on Saturday, Feb. 24.
- Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Curb Event Center in Nashville.
- The game will air on Sinclair MyTV30 and the OVC Digital Network as well as on the radio on 102.1 The Ville.