Tennessee State’s basketball season ends in heartbreaking fashion

title image via Tennessee State Basketball

Courtesy of Tennessee State Athletics

Tennessee St. Logo


Tennessee St. 18-15,10-8 OVC

Western Ill. Logo


Winner Western Ill. 21-11,13-5 OVC

Tennessee St.30 29 59
Western Ill.30 31 61

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team fell to the Western Illinois Leathernecks 61-59 at Ford Center Thursday on Ryan Myers’ buzzer-beating shot with only two seconds left in the game.

The Tigers (18-15) had three players score in double figures, led by Ej Bellinger, who had 17 points and eight rebounds. Christian Brown added 13 points and seven steals and Jaylen Jones chipped in as well with 10 points and four assists off the bench.

Led by Kinyon Hodges’ three offensive rebounds, Tennessee State did a great job crashing the offensive glass, pulling down 13 boards that resulted in 13 second-chance points.

Tennessee State’s defense held Western Illinois to only 37.5 percent shooting from the field, including 17.6 percent from beyond the arc.

How It Happened

After playing to an 11-11 tie, Tennessee State went on a 6-0 run with 13:00 left in the first half, culminating in a bucket from Brown, to take a 17-11 lead. Western Illinois then responded to tie things up at 30-30 heading into halftime. Tennessee State got the job done in the paint in the first half, scoring 16 of its 30 points close to the basket.

Western Illinois then snagged a 42-34 advantage before Tennessee State responded by going on a 7-0 run, finished off by Jones’ layup, to shrink the deficit to 42-41 with 12:15 to go in the contest. Western Illinois responded and outscored the Tigers the rest of the way, ending the game with a final score of 61-59. Tennessee State capitalized on 10 Western Illinois turnovers in the period, collecting 12 points off those turnovers.

Game Notes» Tennessee State lost on a last-second shot by Ryan Myers.
» The Tigers held the Leathernecks to only 37.5 percent shooting from the field.
» Tennessee State played solid perimeter defense, holding Western Illinois to 18 percent from three-point land on 17 attempts.
» Christian Brown swiped seven steals for the Tigers in the game.
» The Tennessee State defense forced 19 turnovers.
» The Tigers were active in affecting shots on the defensive end, recording seven blocks as a team.
» Tennessee State cleaned up on the offensive glass, collecting 13 offensive boards in the game.
» Ej Bellinger led the Tigers with 17 points.
» Tennessee State got eight rebounds from both Kinyon Hodges and Ej Bellinger.

Team Statistics

Game StatsTSUWIU

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