Tennessee State senior forward Wayne Martin had 14 points and 14 rebounds and senior guard Jordan Reed added 13 points and 11 boards as the visiting Tigers cruised to a 72-58 win over Canisius Wednesday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. Tennessee State improved to 5-0 with the win, the best start for the school in its Division I history, while the Golden Griffins fell to 1-4 with the loss.
Canisius freshman Isaiah Reese came off the bench and scored a career-high 13 points to go with three assists, two rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot. Senior forward Phil Valenti added 12 points, seven boards, two assists and two steals to the Griffs’ losing cause.
Canisius led 21-19 with 9:44 left to play in the first half before the Tigers went on a 19-1 run over the span of 7:19. In that run, Martin had five points for Tennessee State, as did teammate Tahjere McCall. Tennessee State led 40-27 at the intermission, as the Tigers shot 64 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point land in the game’s first 20 minutes.
In the second half, Tennessee State stretched its lead to as many as 21 points at 54-33 with 12:58 left to play after Delano Spencer drilled a 3-pointer in transition. The Tigers shot 51.9 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range in the victory, while holding a 45-31 advantage on the glass.
Canisius junior Jermaine Crumpton was good for nine points and five boards in the loss for the Griffs, who shot just 35.2 percent from the floor, 32 percent from behind the arc and 48 percent from the free-throw line. Senior Kiefer Douse was good for eight points, while junior Selvedin Planincic recorded four blocks and three rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“That’s a really good team we just played. We knew that coming in. They are an experienced bunch and they play extremely hard and unselfish. They defend and they really rebound. [Tennessee State] was the type of team that could really expose us. They are a very, very good team and I can see why after five games they’ve won three road games and two neutral site games. I give them all the credit in the world.”
“I think sometimes you’re trying to get across to guys the importance of little things, but that’s not necessarily what they want to think about. Free-throws and lay-ups are not the most exciting element of the game for a player, but we just need to keep working at that. Hopefully we learn from tonight how important those little things are. We will keep working at them and keep trying to get better.”
“At times we slip into [shooting too many 3-pointers] and we need to get back to the little things – lay-ups and free-throws. Those go a long way to winning. We just played against a team that won after making six 3-point shots, and they only took 14. So again, we got taught a lesson. A lesson about grinding it out. About blue-collar basketball. This is not new for us, we’ve been telling them this for a while. It’s just going to take a while for this to set-in as a mindset.”
Inside the Box Score
• Canisius, which entered the game ranked third in the nation in assists-to-field goals made by kenpom.com, had 18 assists on 19 field goals in the loss.
• As a team, Canisius had six blocks in the game. In the team’s previous four outings this season, the Griffs were credited with a total of three blocked shots.
• Tennessee State ended the night by outscoring Canisius 36-16 in the paint, and the Tigers held an 11-2 advantage in second-chance points.
• This was the second meeting between the two schools, and the first since Jan. 11, 1964. Tennessee State has won both meetings.
• Canisius is now 0-2 at home for the first time since 2011-12.
• Valenti’s 12 points extends his streak of scoring double-figures to 12-straight games, dating back to last year.
After two home games, Canisius will start a four-game road swing on Saturday, Nov. 26, when the team travels to play at Youngstown State. Tipoff is set for noon, and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.