|February 13, 2020||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TSUM||BEL|
|FG Percentage||.328 (19-58)||.483 (29-60)|
|3P FG Percentage||.364 (8-22)||.381 (8-21)|
|FT Percentage||.385 (5-13)||.500 (8-16)|
- 14||Nick Muszynski
HARRIS - 7
TEAM - 7
- 5||Grayson Murphy
HARRIS - 1
BROWN - 1
EGBUTA - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 51, Belmont 74
Records: TSU (15-11, 7-6), BU (19-7, 10-3)
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Venue: Curb Event Center
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men's basketball team retuned to the Curb Event Center for the first time this season for a matchup with Big Blue's crosstown rival and head coach Brian "Penny" Collins' alma mater, Belmont. Senior point guard Michael Littlejohn led the Tigers in their effort to defeat the third ranked team in the Ohio Valley Conference, but fell short, 74-51 Thursday night.
TSU held Belmont to 18 percent from beyod the arc in the first half, leading for much of the first 10 minutes of play, but defensive breakdown allowed the Bruins to tie the game and increase its lead before the end of the period.
Littlejohn finished the night with 14 points, 5 assists, while freshman guard Mark Freeman marked the only other Tiger to score in double digits - 11 points, 7 rebounds.
TSU is now 15-11, 7-6 in conference play.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU Leaders
- Points: Michael Littlejohn - 14
- Rebounds: Wesley Harris/Mark Freeman - 7
- Assists: Michael Littlejohn - 5
- Steals: Michael Littlejohn/Wesley Harris/Jon Brown - 1
- Blocks: Wesley Harris/Emmanuel Egbuta – 1
- Belmont shot 18.2 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, but went 6-for-10 in the second.
- TSU committed 23 turnovers, allowing Belmont 29 extra points.
- Big Blue had 25 bench points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Belmont won the jump ball, but a missed jumper by 2018-19 OVC All-Newcomer team member Nick Muszynski gave Michael Littlejohn a chance to score a classic TSU three.
- 2:20 ran off the clock before Belmont was able to put points on the board.
- Belmont went 0-3 from three point distance, forcing the Bruins to begin feeding the ball inside.
- An Emmanuel Egbuta layup broke up a four-minute TSU scoring drought.
- In a remarkable Freeman play to extend the Tigers’ lead to five, Mark Freeman brought the ball upcourt, touched the paint, and almost lost control of the ball. Regaining control, Freeman turned towards the goal and pulled up for a jumper.
- Belmont forced a turnover on the inbound creating the chance it needed to tie the game at 21.
- Muszynski and Kunkel combined for 18 points creating a four point lead over TSU with 51.7 seconds left in the period.
- Michael Littlejohn free throws closed the period down 34-28.
- Belmont kicked off the second half with a 9-0 run.
- Over two minutes of play, Ben Koné went on a seven-point scoring run for Big Blue.
- The Bruins outscored TSU 40-23, increasing its efficiency from the floor to 55 percent, 60 from three-point distance.
- Jon Brown marked his first start of the season.
- This marks the 34th meeting between Tennessee State and Belmont.
- Belmont leads the all-time series over TSU 21-13.
- Belmont’s head coach Casey Alexander was the assistant coach at Belmont when Coach Collins played for the Bruins.
- Samone Nelson Jr. saw his first minutes on the floor as a Tiger.
The Tigers host Tennessee Tech at home in the Gentry Center, Saturday, Feb. 15 for a 7:30 p.m. tip.