Final Score: Tennessee State 107 - Tennessee Wesleyan 72
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- In an exhibition game to open the Brian “Penny” Collins era and unofficially kick off the 2018-19 season, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team dominated NAIA opponent Tennessee Wesleyan 107-72 at the Gentry Center on Wednesday night.
TSU led start to finish, leading by 26 in the first half and by as many as 39 points in the final 20 minutes.
Although Wednesday’s result will not officially count toward the Tigers’ win total, the offensive output with balanced scoring sets the tone for the rest of the season. The last time TSU reached 100-plus points in a regular season game was Dec. 15, 2013 in a 108-85 win over Fisk.
Seven Tigers scored in double figures on the night led by 21 points from redshirt junior guard Donte Fitzpatrick Dorsey, who shot 8-of-10 from the floor. Junior forward Emmanuel Egbuta was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field with 14 points including a number of high-flying dunks. Redshirt junior guard Tripp Davis picked up a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for TSU.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU Leaders
- Points: Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey - 21
- Rebounds: Tripp Davis - 10
- Assists: A. Chaney/D. Fitzpatrick-Dorsey/K. McKnight - 4
- TSU shot 59.4 percent (41-of-69) from the floor.
- The Tigers forced Tennessee Wesleyan into 21 turnovers and scored 25 points off turnovers.
- TSU scored 54 points in the paint to the Bulldogs’ 10.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- TSU was able to turn defense into offense in the early going, turning six Tennessee Wesleyan turnovers into eight points on the other end. The Tigers’ lead stood at 21-8 with 12:30 left in the first half.
- TSU continued to shoot the ball well with Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey draining a pair of three-pointers to stretch the advantage to 34-13 with eight minutes to go in the opening half.
- The Tigers kept Tennessee Wesleyan under 20 points until the 3:46 mark of the first half.
- TSU led by as many as 26 points in the first half and carried a 49-33 advantage into the locker room.
- The Tigers blew the game open with a 15-5 run to open the second half featuring three highlight-reel dunks from Emmanuel Egbuta.
- The home side took its largest lead of the game at 98-59 on a jumper by Fitzpatrick-Dorsey with 4:27 left in the game.
- Wednesday’s game was an exhibition game for both sides.
- TSU officially opens the season on Nov. 10 at Lipscomb.
TSU HEAD COACH BRIAN “PENNY” COLLINS
(on facing Tennessee Wesleyan)
“First of all, I want to give nothing but credit to Ray Stone and his team, Tennessee Wesleyan. I think they’re going to be a really good team this year – a real force in the NAIA Division II level. I want to thank them for coming up here and getting us battle tested for the season.”
(thoughts on the game)
“Our guys tonight, I was really impressed with our pace. We’re still trying to get used to playing fast and taking care of the ball. We had a lot of silly turnovers. Our guys got a little relaxed too early in the game, but I was pleased with our pace. That’s the main thing. We’re trying to push the pace, we’re trying to play fast, and when you try and play fast, you turn over the ball a little bit more than you’d like. On the defensive end tonight, I just think our guys got a little tired and got relaxed just too much for my liking. Little things we think we can correct, that’s what we’ll do over the next 10 days getting ready for our opener.”
(on his first game at the helm for the Tigers)
“I’m not going to lie. All day long I was nervous, stomach butterflies, just worried about today’s game. I wanted our guys to go out and perform, and show the people here in Nashville that we were going to play an exciting brand of basketball – it’s going to be new, it’s going to be fun, and we want people to come to the games. I feel like anyone who came to the game tonight, they should’ve been entertained. I was very pleased with our students who came to the game tonight. I was so glad they came out. We just want them to keep coming back.”