RICHMOND, Ky. — Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) put on a dominating performance with 14 points and 17 rebounds to carry the Tennessee State men’s basketball team to a 63-49 road win over Eastern Kentucky at McBrayer Arena on Thursday night in Ohio Valley play.
Delano Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) chipped in 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range with Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) adding 10 points, seven assists and three steals.
The Tigers (12-5, 3-1) led for 34:17 of the game and did not trail in the second half.
Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) came up with a steal and found Ken’Darrius Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala.) in transition for a dunk to give the Tigers a 14-11 lead at the midway point of the first half.
TSU led for 14:17 of the first half, taking its largest advantage of 11 points at 32-21 with 2:15 left in the half on a Reddick three pointer.
EKU scored the final five points of the half, including a banked-in three from Nick Mayo as TSU took a 32-26 advantage into the locker room.
The Tigers again grew the lead back up to 12 early in the second half before EKU trimmed it back down to six at 45-39 with 10 minutes left. Spencer hit his fourth three of the game with 9:30 remaining to swing the momentum back to the visitors.
McCall sparked a 6-0 run with a baseline dunk to put the lead to double-digits at 52-42 with five minutes to play.
The Tigers would go on to take a 14-point advantage four times in the closing 3:23 of the game.
TSU outrebounded EKU (8-11, 1-3 OVC) by a 46-37 margin and held the Colonels to 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) shooting from three-point range.
Asante Gist led all scorers with 17 points for EKU, while Mayo finished with 15 points.
Next on the schedule, the Tigers will play at Morehead State on Saturday, Jan. 14.
GAME NOTES: TSU is now 27-33 in the all-time series versus Eastern Kentucky… The Tigers are 7-4 in games away from the Gentry Center this season… Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) recorded his eighth double-double of the season.
TSU Head Coach Dana Ford
“I’m really proud of our guys. I thought we really defended well tonight. There were certain stretches there where we had some breakdowns, but you have to EKU credit. They’re a little undermanned right now, but they really battled hard. We all know how good Nick Mayo is, and he gave us some fits there mid-way through the second half. I thought our guys put together enough stops and made some free throws down the stretch. We obviously attacked the basket and that was hard for them to stop in the second half.”
– Thoughts on the Win
“I’m proud of him – 17 rebounds is always a welcoming feeling as a coach and I thought that he tried to do a good job finishing around the rim in the second half. We didn’t finish around the rim in the first half and it was something that we talked about at halftime about being the tougher team and getting the ball up on the square. Definitely proud of Wayne, along with all the guys that played.”
– On the Play of Wayne Martin
“It’s always hard. Anywhere in college basketball. I think the home team wins 78 percent of the time and tonight, we were on the good end of that number. We’ll get a good day of rest tomorrow and go and play a good Morehead State team on the road and try to go 2-0 on this trip.”
– On Winning on the Road
TSU Forward Wayne Martin
“It was good. We haven’t had a road win in a long time, so it was good to get one today against a good EKU team. They’re a tough team. They’ve got two great players in (Nick) Mayo and (Asante) Gist. We had to strap down and really stop them and limit everybody to below what they normally get.”
– On Getting an OVC Road Victory