from Tennessee State Athletics:
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team secured a road victory at SIU-Edwardsville, 75-70, on Thursday evening.
FIRST HALF: Carlos Marshall Jr. jumpstarted the game with an attacking layup. The Cougars converted their first 3-of-4 from the field, including two three-pointers to take an early lead, 8-6. The two programs combined to make their first 9-of-13 from the field. Kassim Nicholson logged eight points in the first ten minutes of the contest. It was a competitive first half as the lead flip-flopped throughout. Marshall Jr. led the Tigers with nine points in the half. As a team, TSU shot 55.6% (15-for-27) from the field. Tennessee State led in rebounds (14-to-11) and points in the paint (18-to-14). SIUE’s Ray’Sean Taylor generated 19 points on 7-of-10 from the field. || SIUE, 39-38
SECOND HALF: SIUE’s Taylor carried the momentum out of the break, scoring the first basket of the half. The fouls were lop-sided to begin the half as the Cougars entered in the bonus with 15 minutes remaining. Tennessee State went on a 9-2 scoring stretch to secure the lead, 54-49. With five minutes remaining, TSU extended the lead to 67-61 after a pair of free-throws by Shakem Johnson. SIUE cut the deficit to one point, 68-67, with less than two minutes remaining. Kenny Cooper swiped a steal and recorded a fast-break layup to extend the lead to three, 70-67. The Cougars’ Deejuan Pruitt converted two free-throws with 58 seconds left. Marcus Fitzgerald Jr. cashed in an “and-one” with 25 seconds left to extend the lead to two possessions. Marshall Jr. sealed the game with a pair at the line following a Pruitt free-throw. || TSU, 75-70
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Kassim Nicholson logged his seventh double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
- Marcus Fitzgerald Jr. registered a team-high 18 points on 6-of-13 from the field.
- SIUE’s Ray’Sean Taylor posted a game-high 26 points, while Courtney Carter filled up the stat sheet with four points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
BEYOND THE BOX:
- Fitzgerald Jr. led the team in scoring for the third time in OVC play.
- The second-year freshman from Nashville, Fitzgerald Jr., scored in double-figures for a team-leading 15th time this season.
- It was the first road victory in conference play for TSU.
UP NEXT: Tennessee State will complete the road trip at Eastern Illinois on Saturday afternoon with tip-off scheduled for approx. 3:00pm.