Tennessee State Topples
Nanooks In BP Top Of The World Classic Opener
The Alaska Nanooks stayed with Tennessee State as long as they could, rebounding
from an eight-point halftime deficit to tie the game in the second half, but
the Tigers proved too much for the tournament hosts, riding a late game surge to a 78-64 victory in the BP Top of the World Classic’s opening
Tennessee State got a game-high 21 points from
junior Bruce Price. Three other Tigers also cracked double-figures, with Andrae
Belton hitting for 17, Gerald Robinson pouring in 16, and LaDarious Weaver
finishing with 13.
Despite the comfortable final scoreline, Alaska
made life anything but for the Tigers throughout most of the contest. Though Tennessee State went into the locker room with a
46-38 halftime lead, the Nanooks needed just five minutes to erase that lead, as two lay-ins from Philippe Jourdain brought
the game within striking distance. In fact, the Blue and Gold thought they had
sprung into the lead, following a Mike Titus drive and lay-in that would have
put them up 45-44. But a frustrated Alaska
team saw the bucket erased for a charging foul, and the Tigers promptly rattled
off five points to pull away for good.
Despite the much-publicized lack of height on the Nanooks, Alaska finished the game with both more rebounds as well as more points in the paint. Tennessee State, however, did most of their
damage from the perimeter. The Tigers hit for six three-pointers in both
halves, shooting at a 57.1 percent clip from behind the arc for the game.
Tennessee State will now benefit from an off-day
on Friday before returning to action on Saturday (11/17). The Tigers will
return to the court against Colorado State, a 69-56 winner over Oregon State
at 3:00p (CT).