|November 25, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
San Diego St.
|Stats at a Glance||TSU||SDSU|
|FG Percentage||.354 (17-48)||.357 (20-56)|
|3P FG Percentage||.280 (7-25)||.286 (6-21)|
|FT Percentage||.800 (8-10)||.941 (16-17)|
Washington - 6
Flynn - 3
Johnson - 1
Washington - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 49, San Diego State 62
Records: TSU (3-3, 0-0 OVC); SDSU (6-0, 0-0 Mountain West)
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Venue: Viejas Arena
SAN DIEGO --- Michael Littlejohn led the Tennessee State Tigers with 21 points Monday night as the team dropped its second game of the ten-day road swing to San Diego State in the Viejas Arena, 62-49.
TSU battled through a great first-half as the Aztecs drew its lead to as much as 11 before Big Blue went on a 13-0 run to take a two-point lead. Two foul calls sent San Diego State to the charity stripe for four free-throws, giving the team who shot 94 percent from the distance its opportunity to regain the lead before heading to the locker room, 25-23.
Littlejohn went 3-for-6 from three, 5-for-10 from the floor, to serve as a monumental offensive push for Tennessee State as San Diego State caught an offensive grove, finishing 11-for-26 from the field, utilizing its bench for 17 points in the second half.
Thanks to the tests of playing high-major competitors on the road, the Tigers enter the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Thursday with a determination to succeed.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU Leaders
- Points: Michael Littlejohn - 21
- Rebounds: Jy’lan Washington/Wesley Harris - 6
- Assists: Mark Freeman - 4
- Steals: Michael Littlejohn - 2
- Blocks: Johnson/Harris/Washington - 1
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Aztecs took first possession off the jump ball. Yanni Wetzell worked his way through the paint for a hook shot for the first points of the night.
- Michael Littlejohn looked for the pass inside to Shakem Johnson as the forward finished around the rim to put TSU on the board.
- Johnson notched a block and a steal in a slew of defensive stops for Big Blue.
- Jy’lan Washington came up with a steal, capitalizing on the SDSU turnover with a three from the top of the key.
- A Nathan Mensah throw down gave the Aztecs a 7-5 lead and the energy from its crowd.
- A six-minute Tennessee State scoring drought resulted in a 9-0 SDSU run.Washington drove through traffic to decrease the Aztecs’ lead, 16-7.
- Littlejohn got comfortable on the floor as he registered two-three-point shots and a layup on the fast break leading the Tigers in scoring early on.
- Mark Freeman continued what would be a 13-0 TSU run with a three that would give Tennessee State its first lead of the game.
- Tied at 23 with 52 seconds in the half, KJ Feagin took a trip to the free-throw line for two.
- An unsuccessful near-half court shot by Michael Littlejohn as the first-half clock expired, left the Tigers down two, 25-23.
- SDSU’s Nathan Mensah hit a second-chance jumper for the first bucket of the second half.
- Free throws marked the first three points of the half for TSU.
- Littlejohn knocked down the first field goal of the half,followed by a Johnson mid-range jumper to tie the game at 31.
- A scoreless 2:17 for TSU allowed SDSU two three-point plays.
- TSU’s leading scorers Littlejohn and Johnson added four to the scoreboard to close out the dry spell.
- San Diego State answered with two three-pointers and a lob to the post for a quick layup increasing its lead, 48-37.
- A Littlejohn fadeaway jumper brought the Tigers within seven of the Aztecs.
- A battle at the charity stripe ensued as the teams traded two TSU free-throws for six SDSU free-throws.
- Littlejohn polished off the night with two more threes.
- As the shot clock expired and the game clock ran under a minute, Malachi Flynn pulled up for his third-three of the night, ending TSU’s time in San Diego, 62-49.
- This marks the first meeting between the Tigers and the Aztecs.
- TSU is now 0-1 against San Diego State.
- Against Mountain West schools, Tennessee State is 0-6.
- Brian “Penny” Collins is now 0-2 against California schools.
Big Blue rounds out its road swing in Las Vegas as the team first takes on Cal Poly, Thursday, Nov. 28 in the Orleans Arena. Tip is set for 1 p.m. CT.
HEAD COACH BRIAN “PENNY” COLLINS
San Diego State is an unbelievable team. They are well-coached, they were picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference. For us to come out and battle them as one of the top teams in the Mountain West says a lot about our guys.
-On the break of flow
I think that’s a testament to our team’s defense, to play two high-major teams in San Diego State and Texas Tech and hold them under 35 percent shooting. Our defense was able to hold on and keep us in the game. The second half when we cut it to one, we kind of went dry when we had a chance to take the lead and tip the momentum in our favor. That’ll be the maturation of this team. Even though we have an older team and have a lot of guys with a lot of experience, we still have a new team. We’re still not the best version of ourselves. We should see that come January.
-On how close the last two games were against high-majors
Texas Tech game, I think we were down two in the second half with 13-14 minutes to go. I think it was the same thing tonight. We were down one and had the chance to take the lead. Both games were types of games that would give our team confidence when we play teams on our level. If we can keep the same intensity with which we played here, we’ll give ourselves a chance.