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December 29, 20151st2ndFinal
Tennessee State432669
Stats at a GlanceTSUMBBUT
FG Percentage.474 (27-57) .456 (26-57)
3P FG Percentage.412 (7-17) .409 (9-22)
FT Percentage.615 (8-13) .650 (13-20)
Offensive Rebounds914
Defensive Rebounds2125
Total Rebounds3039
Bench Points2433
PointsMARTIN - 19
Punter - 23
ReboundsMARTIN - 9
Moore - 14
AssistsDESHIELDS - 6
Moore - 6
StealsMcCall - 3
Punter - 2
Moore - 2
Mostella - 2
Reese - 2
BlocksRichards - 2
Moore - 3
Tigers Take Tennessee to The Wire in 74-69 Loss
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Tigers Take Tennessee to The Wire in 74-69 Loss



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) registered 19 points and nine rebounds, but the Tennessee State men's basketball team suffered a 74-69 road loss at Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena in the non-conference finale.

Playing in front of 13,214 fans, the Tigers (9-4) led for 28:19 of the game, but could not hold on as Tennessee (7-5) improved to 7-0 at home.

“I think our guys made a decision to compete, how we define what competing is,” second-year Tennessee State Head Coach Dana Ford said. “They really helped each other defensively and tried to give a valiant effort on the glass. I think our ability to stop them in the first half really kept us in the game.”

TSU held a 43-36 halftime edge and had a three-point lead at 66-63 with 3:26 to play before the Volunteers utilized a 9-0 run to take a six-point edge, 72-66, with just over a minute left. Martin converted a three-point play to put the score at 72-69 with 49.0 seconds left, but that was as close as TSU would get the rest of the way.

TSU forced Tennessee into four turnovers in the opening five minutes and held an 11-8 lead with six points coming from Martin.

Later in the half, Tennessee led by as many as four points before TSU was able to battle back. After a stop on the defensive end, Christian Griggs-Williams (Milwaukee, Wisc.) hit a layup to tie it up at 17-17, and a Marcus Roper (Walton Beach, Fla.) dunk off a steal led to a 19-17 lead with 10:37 left before the half.

Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.), who finished with 13 points and six assists, converted a layup as the first-half buzzer sounded to give the Tigers a 43-36 halftime advantage.

Tennessee shot 8-for-14 (57.1 percent) on three pointers in the first half, but TSU finished 17-for-31 (54.8 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes and forced UT into 10 turnovers.

The Tigers continued to lead for most of the second half and posted a six-point edge at 62-56 on a layup from Griggs-Williams with 7:10 showing on the clock.

The Volunteers swung the game back in their favor and eventually took the lead for good with their 9-0 run late in the contest.

For UT, Kevin Punter led all scorers with 23 points, while Armani Moore posted eight points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. On the other end, Roper continued his strong play with 10 points off the bench for TSU.

Up next, the Tigers take on Southeast Missouri on the road on Jan. 2 in the team’s Ohio Valley Conference opener.

GAME NOTES: Tennessee State concludes non-conference play with nine wins, which are the most since moving to the OVC prior to the 1987-88 season... TSU falls to 0-6 in the all-time series versus UT…. TSU is now 1-33 versus teams that currently make up the Southeastern Conference…. The Tigers used their fifth different starting lineup of the season with Demontez Loman, Wayne Martin, Darreon Reddick, Keron DeShields and Xavier Richards making up the starting five.

Tennessee State Head Coach Dana Ford

“There’s so much going on in that game, I just can’t put my finger on what it was right now. I have to go back and watch the tape and be able to evaluate it. I was glad to see our guys come back and compete a little bit harder than they did before Christmas break.”

- On what contributed to the defeat

“He’s coming along. He’s getting in better shape. Our whole plan was to get him ready by the time OVC gets here. I think he’s making progress. It will be good to have two guys down there that can score. On the other end, the defensive rebounding end he’s getting a little bit better; still has a little ways to go. He’s definitely someone we feel will be able to help us the next two months.”

- On the play of Christian Griggs-Williams