|January 13, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TSU||SIUE|
|FG Percentage||.500 (30-60)||.596 (28-47)|
|3P FG Percentage||.346 (9-26)||.474 (9-19)|
|FT Percentage||.625 (10-16)||.773 (17-22)|
JACKSON - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 79 - SIUE 82
Records: TSU (7-10, 2-4 OVC) – SIUE (7-10, 3-3 OVC)
Venue: Vadalabene Center
Location: Edwardsville, Ill.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. --- In another one-possession game, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team fell at SIU by an 82-79 final score in Ohio Valley Conference action on Saturday night at the Vadalabene Center.
TSU (7-10, 2-4 OVC) forced a season-high 24 turnovers but could not overcome the hot shooting of the Cougars (7-10, 3-3 OVC), who shot 59.6 percent (28-of-47) on the night.
In a game with seven ties and 14 lead changes, it came down to the wire with SIUE making three free throws in the final 21 seconds to seal the win. Two TSU threes were off the mark on the final possession of the game.
Christian Mekowulu scored a game-high 24 points with Delano Spencer adding 19 points to go with five assists. Kamar McKnight and Darreon Reddick also scored in double figures with point totals of 13 and 10, respectively.
INSIDE THE NUMERS
- TSU LEADERS
- POINTS – Christian Mekowulu - 24
- REBOUNDS – Christian Mekowulu - 6
- ASSISTS – Kamar McKnight - 6
- TSU forced a season-high 24 turnovers on the night.
- It was the third time this season TSU has forced 20 or more turnovers.
- Delano Spencer (11), Christian Mekowulu (10) and Kamar McKnight (10) all score in double figures in the first half.
- McKnight finished with a season-high six assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Delano Spencer hit his first three shots from the field as the Tigers took a 13-6 lead five minutes into the game.
- The Tigers stretched their lead to double digits at 16-6 on a three from Kamar McKnight.
- Momentum quickly shifted to the Cougars, however, when the home side used a 24-4 run to take a 29-20 edge with 6:18 left in the first half.
- The Tigers came all the way back aided by a layup and three free throws from Christian Mekowulu as part of 10-0 run before SIUE took a 38-37 lead into the locker rooms.
- Eight minutes into the second half, Ken’Darrius Hamilton capped an 8-0 run with a three to give the visitors a 55-53 edge.
- A corner three from Reddick extended TSU’s advantage to 72-67 with 5:16 to play.
- The game was tied at 76-76 with two minutes left.
- Mekowulu’s free throw with 1:18 left gave the Tigers a 77-76 advantage.
- SIUE’s Justin Benton hit a layup and free throw on the next possession for a 79-77 lead for the Cougars.
- After a Jalen Henry free throw put the score at 80-77, a layup from Darreon Reddick cut SIUE’s lead down to 80-79 with 12.8 seconds left.
- Brandon Jackson hit two free throws with 11.6 showing on the clock, and TSU had a pair of three-pointers on its final possession that were off the mark.
- TSU is now 7-2 in the all-time series versus SIUE.
HEAD COACH DANA FORD
“Tough loss. I thought our guys played hard. I thought they tried to execute the things we wanted to do. We scored about 40 points off our turnovers. We turned them over 24 times. I thought late, we made a couple fouls we probably should not have made, but I was pleased with the effort, not necessary the execution, especially the attention to detail down the stretch.”
- On the game
“I just think it’s the best way for us to play with our group right now. We’ve got to try to figure out a way to generate some offense outside of just being able to throw the ball inside to Christian Mekowulu. I think our personnel fits it. We’ve really caused a lot of havoc these last two games and literally two games on the road – one possession game each time. I know that’s kind of been the story for our group. We just feel like if continue to get more possessions than the other team, we’ll come out on top.”
- On the high-pressure defense
“It’s very important. We want to protect our home court, and we’re in the middle of a conference race. We’ve got a chance right now to move up the conference standings. Hopefully we’ll be ready for it.”
- On the upcoming four-game homestand
- The Tigers return to Nashville for four-consecutive home games.
- The homestand begins with a Jan. 18 matchup with Austin Peay at the Gentry Center at 7:30 p.m.