NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team rang in the new year with a win as they defeated Kennesaw State 73-62 at Gentry Center on Wednesday afternoon.
The Tigers (3-12) snapped an 11-game losing streak thanks to efficient shooting. They shot 54.8 percent against the Owls (4-11) for the game. In turn, TSU held their opponents to 32.1 percent from the floor.
Christian Mekowulu recorded his first career double-double with a team and career-high 16 points and 11 rebounds. It is the first double-double by a TSU player since Zachary Lee, Xavier Richards, and Darreon Reddick each had one against Fisk (Nov. 20).
Reddick also tied for the team-high in points with 16 on 6-of-9 shooting (66.7 percent).That total is a new career high for the freshman. He nabbed seven boards and added three assists.
Yonel Brown scored a game-high 21 points for Kennesaw State in the loss. He shot 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from the floor.
TSU went into the locker room with a 30-24 lead. It was the most points they’ve scored in the first half since scoring 31 at Lipscomb on Dec. 6. The Tigers held the Owls to 25 percent shooting for the first 20 minutes.
Gaining the lead after 4:23 of play, TSU maintained their advantage on the scoreboard for the remainder of the half. KSU scored the first five points of the game but then missed their next 14-straight attempts. The Tigers zone defense forced the Owls to settle for less-than-ideal jump shots.
The Tigers kept the petal to the metal, only allowing the Owls to pull as close as three possessions at any point during the final half. TSU shot a staggering 21-28 (75 percent) from the charity strip in the last 20 minutes to close out KSU.
Charles Tucker scored nine of his 11 second-half points from the foul line (9-for-9).
The Tigers were able to secure the win thanks to a 71.4 percent clip from the floor for the second half. Reddick scored 11 of his 16 points while Mekowulu scored nine.
The win means TSU will have some momentum to begin conference play as they welcome Southeast Missouri to Gentry Center on Jan. 3. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m.