Tennessee State (0-9) at Drexel (5-2) (ET)
GAME NOTES: Still in search of their first win of the season, the Tennessee State Tigers will try their luck at the Daskalakis Center against the Drexel Dragons.
Tennessee State battled hard against Alabama A&M on Tuesday night, only to come away with a 66-65 loss when Patrick Miller's desperation heave at the buzzer rimmed out. The Tigers appear to be on the cusp of snapping their skid however, as they have averaged 68.3 points over their last six games after netting just 54 during the first three.
This will be only the second home game of the year for Drexel, which made its 2013-14 Daskalakis Center debut with an 85-82 triple-overtime win against Cleveland State on Wednesday. It marked the second consecutive triple-overtime game for the Dragons, who previously knocked off Alabama at Madison Square Garden after falling just short to second-ranked Arizona two days earlier.
TSU notched a 76-66 win over Drexel last December in Nashville, which was the only prior meeting in the all-time series between these two teams.
The Tigers managed to keep things close against Alabama A&M despite shooting just 37.5 percent from the floor, 23.5 percent from 3-point range, and 65.5 percent from the foul line. Miller led the way with 17 points, while M.J. Rhett recorded a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with three blocks. It was the fourth double-double of the season for Rhett, as he helped TSU to a 46-31 rebounding advantage, its first time winning the battle on the boards this year. Rhett is averaging 10.1 points and 8.7 rebounds, while Miller is putting up 20.8 ppg and has led the team in scoring in all but one game. However, that duo has shouldered about half of the Tigers' scoring load this season (48 percent), and the lack of offensive depth has headlined the team's 0-9 start.
Drexel is led by senior guard Chris Fouch and his 19.1 ppg, which ranks fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. Frantz Massenat (14.9 ppg) and Tavon Allen (14.0 ppg) are also averaging double figures, although the team lost starter Damion Lee (13.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg) to a season-ending knee injury against Arizona. The Dragons are posting a healthy 74.0 ppg and committing only 10.3 turnovers, but they are also shooting just 28.2 percent from the perimeter as a team. Massenat, the point guard, has helped keep that turnover rate down as he is averaging 5.3 assists per tilt. In the win over Cleveland State, Allen led the way with 23 points, followed by Massenat with 21 (and nine assists) and Fouch with 17 points. Dartaye Ruffin held down the paint with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
The Tigers desperately need a third option to emerge on the offensive end of the floor, as their scoring pace has often slowed to a crawl when Miller or Rhett goes to the bench. They face a tall task in this matchup trying to pull out the road win against a much deeper Drexel team.
GAME NOTES: Still in search of their first win of the season, the Tennessee
State Tigers will try their luck at the Daskalakis Center against the
Drexel Dragons.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Daskalakis Athletic Center (2,532) -- Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: TSU 0-2, Drexel 1-0. Away Record:
TSU 0-5, Drexel 2-1. Neutral Record: TSU 0-2, Drexel 2-1. Conference Record:
TSU 0-0, Drexel 0-0. Series Record: Tennessee State leads, 1-0.Game Date and Time
Saturday, December 7, 4 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Drexel 77, Tennessee State 66