Defensive Prowess Lifts Lady Tigers to 110-55 Exhibition Win Over Virginia Lynchburg
Friday, November 1, 2019
Defensive Prowess Lifts Lady Tigers to 110-55 Exhibition Win Over Virginia Lynchburg

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

Final Score: Tennessee State 110 – Virginia Lynchburg 55
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE --- The outlook for the 2019-20 Lady Tigers basketball season is set after the team unofficially opened its season Friday evening with a 110-55 exhibition win over Virginia Lynchburg in Gentry Center.

Four-of-the-five Big Blue starters finished the night in double-digits, while third-year head coach Jessica Kern tested out her bench, playing all 14 student-athletes on the roster. Two Lady Tigers’, Keniece Purvis and Takya Bennett, proved fatal on the floor coming off the bench with 11 points apiece.

Defensive prowess lifted the Lady Tigers as the team forced 44 VUL turnovers resulting in 59 points, while pulling down 52 rebounds compared to the Dragons’ 34. Returner Jaden Wrightsell led the game with nine rebounds, while Jasmine Broner posted an impressive five steals in just 13 minutes of play. 

Virginia Lynchburg’s DaMaya Harris led with 13 points, four rebounds and two steals. The Dragons’ post, Jade Bracey finished with 10 points around the rim, four rebounds, an assist and two blocks.  

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • TSU Leaders
    • Points: Jazmine Young – 16
    • Rebounds: Jaden Wrightsell - 9
    • Assists: Terrysha Banner - 4
    • Steals: Jasmine Bronner – 5
    • Blocks: Megan Kent - 2
  • Five Lady Tigers scored in double digits, including the leading scorer Young: Adreanna Wrister 16, Jaden Wrightsell 14, Taylor Roberts 11, Keniece Purvis 11 and Takya Bennett 11.
  • TSU outrebounded VUL 52-34.
  • Big Blue finished with 59 points off of forced turnovers.
  • The bench contributed 48.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Big Blue set the scene for the night beginning the game with a steal leading to a Jazmine Young three with the clock running down on TSU’s first possession.
  • TSU’s offense hit five-straight shots, with back-to-back-to-back stops deflating the Dragons’ confidence early.
  • Banner drove the lane for a layup, followed by a Takya Bennet steal for a layup, rounded off with the final layup by Ashley Primas.
  • After the first quarter, the Lady Tigers led the Dragons 32-15, assisted by 11 points off of eight turnovers.
  • VUL went 3 minutes early in the second without a field goal.
  • Tennessee State closed the half leading the Dragons by 32, heading to the locker room with a 60-28 score.
  • Big Blue kicked off the second half with a mid-range jumper from Taylor Roberts, who led scoring in the third period with seven points.
  • Freshman Megan Kent came up with two huge blocks adding to the already stout TSU defense.
  • The Lady Tigers rounded out the game with 20 points in the fourth period.

GAME NOTES

  • This marks the first Lady Tiger exhibition game under head coach Jessica Kern.
  • Although the game does not count towards TSU’s record, this marks the first time TSU has played Virginia Lynchburg.
  • The last time the Lady Tigers scored 100 points was against UT Martin at home Jan. 2, 2012.

UP NEXT

The Lady Tigers open its regular season Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. versus Wilberforce in Gentry Center.

QUOTES

HEAD COACH JESSICA KERN
-Opening statement
It’s nice to get all of the jitters out. We played every single person on the roster; no player played over 22 minutes. Six scorers in double-digits and then we had one who was just shy of it. 52 rebounds defensively and 27 steals, we did a pretty good job. We’ve got things we need to work on, but this is really nice because at some point the kids are just tired of practicing and we just need to play. I’m very proud of the turnout, the crowd we had tonight, and of the production of the young ladies. We hit every one of our goals, except two, which is something we need to work on but it was a nice showing.

-On the newcomers
You know, when you have the kind of season we had last year, we had to be really intentional in the off-season about getting everyone to like each other off the floor. We’re going to be a quick team. Everyone is playing in three-minute spurts. Everything we do off the floor is helping us on the floor. We go back at it tomorrow morning, but to have an arsenal of people who can score, is going to be fun. The goal was to be unscoutable. We even shot the long ball better than we traditionally have, so its fun watching us play.

-On the style of play
Run. It’s a track meet. We’re not huge underneath the rim. I know that. We shot 80 percent from the free-throw line. That allows us to do what we want defensively. We want to run and jump as fast as we can because when the ball is in our hands, we’re really fast. We had too many turnovers tonight, but I think that’s players trying to figure out how to pass to who, in what way. But, our bread and butter is quick. Quick on defense and quick on offense.

-On offensive focus
We focus on being good teammates and being good teammates means sharing the ball. Ideally, since we have so many players that produce so much, we should be very good at hitting the extra pass for another shot. We didn’t have that on both sides of the ball in the past. Now, you’ve got A1 (Adreanna Wrister) shooting well, Deaja Richardson who is a phenomenal contributor, Jazmine Young who is shooting it well, Keneice Purvis who is shooting it well, so the defense now has to play honest. The big girls didn’t get the chance to shoot the three-ball, and that’s when it gets really fun. When your five can shoot the longball, it changes the defense tremendously.

-On preparing for the season opener
Wilberforce is a very good team – they went 14-13 last year. A lot of division I transfers. Young ladies that have size and length, who will be very physical. We did not play clean today. Our open court defense – they got in the bonus extra early. We’re going to focus on playing clean defense. Even though we had 52 rebounds, I think we can be so much more physical underneath the rim. I think we had 79 shots, and that’s too many shots for us. We have to honor the basketball. We’re going to go back to film and try to play a cleaner, more disciplined game.

JUNIOR GUARD TAYLOR ROBERTS
-On the team’s performance

I feel the team’s performance was equally shared. We all played together, distributing the ball, running up the floor, transitioning was key for us, so I feel as a team, we collectively played well and distributed the ball. 

-On what you’re most proud of
I’m proud of our team for our high energy. On the bench we have octane energy, and our coach warned us about that. That translates to the game. When the bench is hype, we’re hype. We get steals, everyone is aggressive. When we’re aggressive and hype, it translates into points.

-On defensive keys
I feel what makes us stronger is boxing out. That’s key. Once we find the girl, box out and rebound, it’s easier when going up the court.

-On the team’s length
I think it will stretch the offense. We’re going to be hands on balls regardless because we’re so long, on the top and bottom of the our defense. 

-On what you’re looking forward to for season opener
A win. But also staying together. It’s going to be up and down. That’s just the game of basketball. So, staying together, coming in the huddle and knowing ‘I got you’ and staying together until we have a win. 

SOPHOMORE GUARD JAZMINE YOUNG

-On the team’s performance
I think we played hard. We met their aggressiveness. We shared the ball a lot and played hard.

-On what you’re most proud of
I think sharing the ball, we did really good with that.

-On defensive keys
I think when everyone is hype and ready to get steals and deflections and everyone knows where they are, it’s easier to get defensive stops.

-On length
We are very long so getting deflections is very easy for us.

-On what you’re looking forward to for season opener
The energy on the court and on the bench, and continuing to share the ball like we did today.

#BigBlueRising