|December 02, 2017||1st||2nd||1OT||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||TSU|
|FG Percentage||.500 (28-56)||.469 (30-64)|
|3P FG Percentage||.480 (12-25)||.333 (8-24)|
|FT Percentage||.771 (27-35)||.667 (18-27)|
MEKOWULU - 26
REDDICK - 4
MATHEWS - 2
REDDICK - 2
Final Score: Tennessee State 86 – Lipscomb 95 (Overtime)
Records: TSU (4-3) – Lipscomb (5-3)
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- Playing its second overtime game of the season, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team was handed a 95-86 loss by Lipscomb on Saturday night at the Gentry Center.
TSU (4-3) forced overtime when Delano Spencer finished a layup with 18.4 seconds left to knot the score at 77-77, and the defense came up with a stop on Lipscomb’s last possession of regulation.
The Bisons (5-3) scored the first six points in the extra period and outscored the Tigers by an 18-9 margin in the five-minute overtime period.
A trio of Tigers had career nights on the offensive end led by Christian Mekowulu with a career-high 26 points to go with 15 rebounds. For Mekowulu, it was his second-consecutive double-double. Spencer also delivered 26 points, while Kamar McKnight added 17 off the bench.
INSIDE THE NUMBER
- TSU LEADERS
- Points: Christian Mekowulu and Delano Spencer - 26
- Rebounds: Christian Mekowulu - 15
- Assists: Armani Chaney and Darreon Reddick - 4
- Delano Spencer scored 17 of TSU’s 38 first-half points.
- The Tigers forced nine turnovers in the first half.
- Redshirt junior forward Christian Mekowulu scored a career-high 26 points.
- Mekowulu’s previous career high was 20 versus Morehead State on Feb. 5, 2015.
- Mekowulu finished with his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career.
- Senior guard Delano Spencer topped his previous best of 22 points set against Reinhardt earlier this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- A fast start by the Bisons put TSU in an 11-point hole at 25-14 just over 10 minutes into the game.
- A 10-0 run capped by a dunk from Christian Mekowulu brought TSU back to within one point at 25-24.
- Lipscomb closed the opening half by taking a 42-38 edge into the locker room.
- Seven defensive stops in a row by the Tigers helped TSU take a 48-42 lead early in the second half.
- Lipscomb chipped away, eventually taking a 55-53 advantage on a Garrison Mathews three with 11:50 showing on the second half clock.
- Mekowulu finished a tip-in layup with 39.2 seconds left in regulation to knot the score at 75-75.
- After a layup from Rob Marberry on the other end, Spencer’s layup with 18.4 seconds left put the score at 77-77 to force overtime.
- Lipscomb’s offense scored the first six points of overtime and never looked back en route to victory.
- TSU’s record in the series versus Lipscomb is 3-4.
- TSU is 3-2 in home games this season.
- Tennessee State is 1-1 in overtime this season and 2-6 under Ford in overtime.
Head Coach Dana Ford
“I have to give credit to Lipscomb for playing a really complete game. The kids played hard, played with class and good balance. I thought our guys competed. We just turned over the ball too much, missed some timely free throws, and some of their guys stepped up and made some shots that they hadn’t been making all year. This one is on me as a coach. I’ve got to do a better job of coming up with a game plan and putting our guys in better positions when our game is on the line.”
“Well hopefully we learn the importance of one possession. Tonight, if one guy gets one more deflection and saves a basket, or one guy steps up there and makes one more free throw in the first 40 minutes of the game. if we get one ball stopped in transition before they lay it in, or if we can contest one three and they not make it, we win the game. We play until the clock says 00:00 and hopefully we’ve learned that. There’s a lot of basketball left. I’m not upset with these guys’ effort tonight at all, I think we have to execute better and have to take better care of the ball. At the end of the day, we’ve just got to get better.”
-On pressure of overtime
“We just expect that of them. They’re starting to take the role that we need in order for us to have a better team. Two consecutive double-doubles for Mekowulu - he was a monster tonight against a very physical front court, and they do a very good job defensively especially at the post. Delano he found his shot early, he let the game come to him early and he’s a fantastic shooter. We need some other guys stepping up to the plate. We can’t be a two player party. It really has to be a team effort. We also need to take care of the ball. We’ve got to make the right decisions coming down the stretch.”
-On veteran players
“We’ll let them rest a little bit, and then we’ve got 10 days until our next game. As a coach, I’ve got to figure out how to get our defense right. Our Division I opponents are shooting 50 percent from the floor and we’re probably giving up over 80 points. We’ve always defended here. Maybe I’ve got to go back to the drawing board and look myself in the mirror over these next 10 days, and see how we can improve our defense and our rebounding. Our defense and rebounding percentages are probably pretty good, but giving up that amount of points and that defensive field goal percentage and turning over the ball like that - that’s not what we’re about, and that’s what cost us the game today. Hopefully, I can figure it out.”
-On preparation for road games
Forward Christian Mekowulu
“Defense. That’s what we talk about in the locker room. Get stops and play as a team on offense. I think we did a pretty good job and came out and did that.”
-On the comeback
“Coming out there, I knew I was going to play aggressively. Coach Ford pushed playing aggressively all week, plus my team put me in a great position to play the way I played tonight.”
-On individual offensive play
“It was tough. Losing this game this game is tough. We just have to build from this."
“Wins. Wins would be great. We have to get better and watch film. We’ll work on getting better and go from there.”
-On what he’s looking forward to on the road
- TSU hits the road for six-consecutive games away from the Gentry Center.
- The road trip begins at Alabama State on Dec. 12 in Montgomery, Ala.