Tennessee State put together a balanced night and overcame a hot shooting start from the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles to ultimately put away the visitors in a second half smashing. The 85-55 win has TSU at 8-3 in OVC play and dropped TTU to 9-3.
When Xavier Richards slammed home a Keron Deshields oop off the glass with about five minutes to go in the game, TSU had dropped an exclamation point on a second half thrashing. The bucket, which put the Tigers up 78-48, deflated whatever spirit that might have been left in the Eagles.
Four Tigers scored in double figures: Keron Deshields (15), Tahjere McCall (14) Armani Chaney and Richards (11 each).
The Golden Eagles had no answer to a steady effort from TSU, who received stat sheet stuffing statistics from a number of guys. TTU sported an extremely inefficient offense in the second half, shooting shots early in the second half and had nothing that resembled a cohesive offense. It looked listless. It was altogether bad. TTU is going to want to move forward from this one and not look back and maybe hope for an OVC tourney matchup with its rival.
Something tells me that a 42-20 margin in their favor has Coach Dana Ford smiling pretty widely right about now, especially given the heartbreaking loss in Cookeville hardly two weeks ago.
Torrance Rowe came out of the gates set on wrecking the Tiger defense, and that he did, scoring 18 of TTU's 35 first half points. Unfortunately for TTU, he netted just one in the second half and no one picked up the slack.
It was with 8:40 left in the first half that someone other than Rowe or Aleksa Jugovic even tallied a point when Ryan Martin notched a hoop. Jugovic put up 11 first half points and posted 13 for the game.
Turnovers plagued the Golden Eagles in the first, as they flubbed the ball away 12 times in the half. Largely because of this, TTU trailed 43-35 despite shooting nearly 62 percent from the floor. TTU turned the ball over 7 more times in the second half. That 60+ percentage went down all the way to 40.8 percent by the end of the night. TSU upped its shooting to 57.3 percent from the floor by the end of the night to send the Gentry Center crowd home content.
State did what it often does in having several guys step up to the plate and make steady contributions in a win. It has to be a satisfying one for the Tigers, who are on the prowl for a high seed in the OVC tourney.