|November 13, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LR||TSUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.569 (33-58)||.393 (24-61)|
|3P FG Percentage||.267 (4-15)||.343 (12-35)|
|FT Percentage||.684 (13-19)||.500 (7-14)|
McKNIGHT - 1
FITZPATRICK-DORSEY - 1
Final Score: TSU 67 - Little Rock 83
Records: TSU 0-2, Little Rock 2-0
Venue: Gentry Center
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball was stymied by a strong second half from Little Rock, falling by an 83-67 final score in the home opener on Tuesday night at the Gentry Center in non-conference action.
TSU (0-2) trailed by just one at the half before the Trojans (2-0) shot 66.7 percent in the second half and outscored the Tigers by a 52-37 margin over the final 20 minutes.
Reigning Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey led TSU in scoring with 15 points, while Michael Littlejohn added 14 points off the bench. Playing his first career home game, DaJion Henderson posted a team-best five rebounds for the Tigers.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU Leaders
- Points: Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey - 15
- Rebounds: DaJion Henderson - 5
- Assists: Kamar McKnight - 5
- Steals: Jalen Duke - 3
- Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey scored in double-figures for the second times in as many games this season.
- On the night, 11 different players scored for TSU.
- TSU forced 16 turnovers in the game.
- For the second game in a row, TSU made double-digit three-pointers, tallying 12 on 12-of-35 shooting.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In an unexpectedly low-scoring first half, TSU and Little Rock were tied at 18-18 with seven minutes left before halftime.
- Neither team led by more than three points in the opening 20 minutes as the Trojans took a slight 31-30 halftime lead.
- Eight different players scored for TSU in the first half led by six points from Armani Chaney.
- Little Rock sprinted out of the gate after the break, leading by 16 points at 53-37 with 14:08 left in the game.
- The Tigers rallied to cut the Trojans’ edge down to 10 with an 8-2 run sparked by two threes from Michael Littlejohn to put the score at 55-45.
- Little Rock quickly answered with a 13-0 run to put the game out of reach.
- TSU is now 1-1 in the all-time series versus Little Rock.
- It was the first meeting between the two sides since Dec. 5, 1992.
- TSU hosts Carver on Thursday, Nov. 15.
- The game will air live on ESPN+ and on the radio on 102.1 The Ville.
HEAD COACH BRIAN “PENNY” COLLINS
“Little Rock came here and took it to us right away. I have great respect for their head coach and program. It was a great home game for us, great atmosphere for our team to play against a team of their caliber, but we just didn’t come out and compete for 40 minutes. Hopefully, next game, we’ll be ready to go.”
(on second half defense)
“I just think our guys lacked that mental discipline in the second half. They were able to get in the paint, starting with their post players getting where they wanted to go, and we didn’t have any pushback in the post. Our guys were trying to compete, but we just couldn’t stop them – stop the bleeding. Every time we got a chance to wall them up or make a run, we just couldn’t get stops. Then the transition points started happening, and when are shots weren’t falling, they took advantage of the 8-0 runs, the 10-0 runs, and we could never just get back from it.”
(on heavy rotation of players)
“Tonight was a night where we felt like if we rotate early, our guys would be fresh late in the game – which didn’t end up working, because in the second half, they ran away with it. But, we feel like we have a good enough group that we can move and we can play so many different ways, that’s why we were able to move some guys in, play some different guys and try some different lineups tonight. But the second half, we just couldn’t find that rhythm. We’ll be better for it. We’ll go back and look at some film and make some adjustments.”
(on heavy proportion of three-point shots)
“That’s how we want to play. We want to play fast, we want to take good, open threes. Little Rock is the type of team to play a lot of defenses. They run and jump a little bit. We were able to get some really good looks. If our guy got a good look, our guy would take them and shoot them with confidence. Our shots weren’t falling tonight. We felt like the first half, shots were falling. Maybe if we got into halftime eight or more points, but shots weren’t falling. We had some good looks, and we were hoping we would get those same looks the second half, and we did at times, but they just weren’t falling. Like I said, our guys, I feel like they competed. Right now, I feel like the most important thing is they care about each other, and we’ll be there next game.”
(on bench play)
“To me, right now, that’s the most important thing for our team. We definitely want to win games. We’re going to compete every night. Just to see these guys ride for each other and love each other, and continue to pull from one another, that light is going to come on, and once that light comes on, we’ll be very dangerous. Shots weren’t falling tonight, and sometimes when those shots aren’t falling, defense starts lagging, but if our guys can just keep the same spirit and energy, especially in adverse situations, we’ll be better for it.”