NCAA basketball - Season 2019-20 - Second review (from January to March 2020)
Tennessee State Tigers vs. Eastern Illinois Panthers: 84-79 (played on 2020-01-02)
Score at the half: 40-26
Mark Freeman of TSU, going full speed and working hard, kept putting some good rhythm in the game right after the break. Shakem Johnson and his mate Jy'lan Washington (forward, 2.06m, senior) successfully finished the job in the paint for the Tigers (45-29). Wesley Harris had impressive plays and nice sequences to lead the Tigers to a 54-39 advantage but Marvin Johnson (guard, 1.98m, junior) of EIU got on fire and the scoreboard showed 54-44 with 13'05" to go. Carlos Marshall Jr. (guard, 1.98m, sophomore), very precious, hit a nice trey to make 57-44 for TSU on the next play. Josiah Wallace looked able to bring back his team in the race at 59-51 but his team EIU failed to defend. It was 62-51 on a shot hit from downtown by TSU's guard Carlos Marshall. Once again, Wallace managed to bring the Panthers back at 62-55. TSU's pocket player Michael Littlejohn hit his fourth three-pointer of the day to make 67-57 and was imitated by his mate Wesley Harris to make 70-59 a few moments later. EIU, mainly thanks to Josiah Wallace's superb performance in the second half, remained in the race despite Littlejohn's impressive shooting display. In the last minute of the game, Jaqualis Matlock missed an easy shot for EIU and his mate Marvin Johnson committed an offensive foul but the Panthers' guard Josiah Wallace managed to reduce the gap at 78-74 on a trey (4/4 in this game). Tennessee State's Head Coach Brian "Penny" Collins took a time out with 22" remaining. Those who would have thought that the game would have been over with two minutes remaining on the clock were completely wrong. TSU's guard Mark Freeman hit two free throws but Josiah Wallace followed with a succcesful cost-to-coast rush (80-76). Wesley Harris and Mark Freeman iced the game from the free-throw line and secured the TSU win. The last rush by Josiah Wallace (32 points on that day) was eventually not enough but the end of the game was simply thrilling. Special mention to George Dixon of EIU and Wesley Harris of TSU who had 10 rebounds each in this game. Final score: 84-79 for the Tigers!
- Wesley Harris of Tennessee State is a versatile and mobile tall guard who can run fast down the court, grab rebounds and hit shots from downtown;
- Josiah Wallace of Eastern Illinois is a hardworking guard who likes to drive in the paint, his ball handling is excellent and he is able to hit treys and set plays;
- Michael Littlejohn and Mark Freeman of Tennessee State are two creative guards able to set high tempo and to hit shots from range with precision and success;
- Mack Smith of Eastern Illinois is a guard who has a great presence inside;
- two forwards who show a lot of energy on the court particularly caught my attention: Marvin Johnson of Eastern Illinois and Carlos Marshall of Tennessee State.
Tennessee State Tigers: Shakem Johnson 10, Mark Freeman 6, Carlos Marshall Jr. 14, Wesley Harris 17, Michael Littlejohn 18, Emmanuel Egbuta 6, Jylan Washington 5, Jon Brown 6, Ravel Moody 2.
Eastern Illinois Panthers: Jaqualis Matlock 6, Josiah Wallace 32, George Dixon 11, Mack Smith 13, Marvin Johnson 16, Dondre Duffus 1.
Grand Canyon Antelopes vs. California State Bakersfield Roadrunners: 64-61 (played on 2020-03-07)
Score at the half: 33-27
Grand Canyon Antelopes: Lorenzo Jenkins 5, Alessandro Lever 4, Isiah Brown 5, Carlos Johnson 33, Jovan Blacksher Jr. 11, Mikey Dixon 6.
CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners: Taze Moore 15, De'monte Buckingham 8, Czar Perry 4, Justin Edler-Davis 6, Shawn Stith 4, Greg Lee 9, Justin McCall 4, Cam Allen 11.
Pictures and courtesy: Karina Delgado - DailyEasternNews.com; Twitter - @TSUTigersMBB; John E. Moore III - Getty Images; Billy Hardiman - The Republic/azcentral.com; Sam Wasson - Getty Images; gorunners.com.