|November 28, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TSU||CPO|
|FG Percentage||.482 (27-56)||.462 (24-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.579 (11-19)||.381 (8-21)|
|FT Percentage||.739 (17-23)||.571 (16-28)|
Colvin - 5
Ballard - 2
Smith - 2
Egbuta - 1
Kone - 1
Final Score: Tennessee State 82, Cal Poly 72
Records: TSU (4-3, 0-0), Cal Poly (1-6, 0-0)
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: Orleans Arena
LAS VEGAS – The Tennessee State men’s basketball team defeated Cal Poly in round one of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, Thursday, Nov. 28 in the Orleans Arena.
The team shot an impressive 69 percent from three-point distance during the first half, shooting 9-of-13 – led by senior point guard Michael Littlejohn who capped the night with five. Freshman Mark Freeman marked a career-high, adding 16 points to the Tennessee State stat line, as well as three assists.
Cal Poly returned to the court for the second half, down 44-31. Sophomore guard Junior Ballard answered his eight-point first half performance with another team leading 11-point half. Colby Rogers added nine and Tuukka Jakkola eight, outscoring the Tigers in the second period, 41-38. The final trips to the charity stripe held the Mustangs off as the Tigers won its first game away from the Gentry Center this season, 87-72.
Big Blue moves to the championship game of its bracket tomorrow afternoon.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- TSU Leaders:
- Points: Michael Littlejohn - 17
- Rebounds: Jon Brown - 9
- Assists: Mark Freeman - 3
- Steals: Michael Littlejohn - 3
- The Tiger bench contributed 40 points.
- Four Tigers scored double-digits: Littlejohn 17, Freeman 16, Brown 10, Washington 10.
- Freeman scored a career-high 16 points , while adding three assists.
- This marks the second game Brown led the Tigers in rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Mustangs put the first points on the board after a Shakem Johnson shooting foul brought Tuukka Jaakkola to the charity stripe for two.
- Shooting accuracy from three-point distance proved fatal to the Mustangs as Washington, Freeman and Littlejohn combined for five threes to take a 15-9 lead over Cal Poly.
- Freeman tossed the ball to Egbuta to do work in the paint, finishing around the rim for two.
- Keith Smith ended a four-minute Mustang scoring drought with a 5-0 run.
- Mark Freeman drove through the lane for an easy layup, turning the basket into a three-point play thanks to a Malek Harwell foul.
- Freeman added five points to the board in the final two minutes for the Tigers,
- Tennessee State entered the locker room after the half leading Cal Poly, 44-31.
- Wesley Harris blocked Malek Harwell’s layup, Jy’lan Washington grabbed the defensive rebound, passed to Ben Kone for an easy layup increasing the Tigers’ lead, 50-35.
- Kone’s layup led the way for a 7-0 Tiger run.
- Consistent Mustang shooting chipped away at the 20-point lead TSU gained over Cal Poly.
- Late in the half, Cal Poly went on a 9-0 run trailing just five, 75-70.
- The Mustangs began to foul, sending Washington to the line for four.
- TSU made stop after stop allowing just one layup by Cal Poly’s leading scorer, Junior Ballard.
- One last foul brought Mark Freeman to the charity stripe with 25 seconds left on the clock. Freeman missed one and made one, closing out the night 82-72.
- This marks the first time Tennessee State and Cal Poly have met in competition.
- The Tigers now lead the all-time series 1-0.
- Brian “Penny” Collins is now 1-2 against California schools.
TSU will take on the winner of the LIU/North Florida matchup tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in the Orleans Arena.