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November 21, 20151st2ndFinal
Middle Tennessee373269
Tennessee State303666
Stats at a GlanceMTTSUMBB
FG Percentage.415 (22-53) .400 (18-45)
3P FG Percentage.435 (10-23) .400 (8-20)
FT Percentage.556 (15-27) .710 (22-31)
Offensive Rebounds96
Defensive Rebounds2629
Total Rebounds3535
Bench Points1117
PointsPOTTS - 21
ReboundsUPSHAW - 11
AssistsUPSHAW - 4
StealsCOPELAND - 2
BlocksGAMBLE - 1
Tennessee State Drops Home Test Versus Middle Tennessee, 69-66
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Tennessee State Drops Home Test Versus Middle Tennessee, 69-66



NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite a career-high 28 points from redshirt senior Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.), the Tennessee State men’s basketball team suffered a 69-66 loss at the hands of visiting Middle Tennessee at the Gentry Center on Saturday night.

TSU (2-2) outscored the Blue Raiders (1-1) by a 36-32 margin in the second half, but the Tigers could not overcome a 37-30 first-half deficit as MTSU earned its 10th-consecutive win in the series.

“We intend on being competitive against everybody that we play,” second-year TSU Head Coach Dana Ford said. “They’ve got a great coach. They’ve got a great program. We have a lot of respect for them, but at the same time, we need to build our program up as well and I think we’re making strides to do that.”

On the offensive end, senior Marcus Roper (Walton Beach, Fla.) added a season-best 12 points off the bench with redshirt junior Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) and sophomore Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) scoring eight points apiece for the home side.

The Blue Raiders gained the upperhand early in the game and led by as many as nine points at 15-6 with six minutes gone. Over the next 5:30 of action, the Tigers clawed back into the game, taking their first lead at the 8:39 mark of the half on a pair of DeShields free throws for a 19-18 edge.

MTSU retook the lead on a three from Xavier Habersham on the following possession and did not give up the advantage the rest of the half. Behind 19 first-half points from Giddy Potts, the Blue Raiders were able to take a 37-30 lead into the locker rooms.

A 6-0 spurt to open the half brought the Tigers within one at 37-36 nearly six minutes into the second half. Later the half, TSU took a 59-58 lead on DeShields’ layup with 3:49 left, and after a three from MTSU, DeShields leveled the score at 63-63 with 1:47 remaining.

Over the final 1:30, the Blue Raiders outscored TSU by a 6-2 margin to earn the victory.

Both teams finished with 35 rebounds with Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) corralling a team-best nine boards for TSU, while Reggie Upshaw had 11 for the Blue Raiders. Entering the game shooting 28.0 percent from three-point land, the Tigers connected on 8-of-20 three-pointers (40.0 percent) on the night.

From the field, TSU shot 40 percent (18-for-45) with MTSU shooting 41.5 percent (22-for-53). Potts finished with 21 points to pace the Blue Raiders' offense. 

“We got better today,” Ford said. “This was the first time that we’ve been in a back-and-forth game for the entire game. The way our guys showed some resilient effort was really good.”

Next up, Tennessee State hosts Reinhardt at the Gentry Center on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

GAME NOTES: TSU’s all-time record versus Middle Tennessee falls to 16-38… Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) finished with a career-high 28 points, besting his previous best of 20, which he scored on two occasions while playing for Montana.

Redshirt Senior Guard Keron DeShields

“What I took from this game is we have a lot of fighters. Our coach is going to fight for us of course. I think we learned that down the stretch we need to make better decisions. As a senior leader, I need to make better decisions. We don’t take moral victories, but it’s good to see the progress.”

  • On Tonight’s Game

“We stayed together. Basically we need to move onto the next game. A lot of things could have gone our way and they didn’t, so now it’s just time to move onto the next one.”

  • On Moving Forward