JRNM 151 Student
Coming off a loss at Owens Community College 103-78 on Feb. 3, the emphasis in the men’s basketball team’s next game was defense and they showed it as the Commodores won 56-59 at home against Cincinnati State on Feb. 7.
“We played solid defense,” said head coach Marty Eggleston. “We forced their bigs to take tough shots” and when they were fouled “they missed critical free throws” as Cincinnati State was 8-29 at the free throw line.
Great defense was not the only thing that lead the men to victory. The Commodores had a plus seven rebounding advantage against a team that had four players measuring in at 6’7”, or taller. Kelvin Jenkins and Chris Theodus each had seven rebounds, with Ouddi Hamden and 5’11” point guard Wesley Harris, who is one of the shortest players on the team, snagging nine rebounds a piece.
Along with those rebounds, Harris led the way in the second half by scoring 12 of their 24 points. Four of those points came in the last minutes with a three pointer to tie the game and a free throw to make it a three point game with three seconds left. Although he missed the second free throw, it forced Cincinnati State, who was shooting 4-24 at three point range, to shoot a three.
The Commodores experienced the short end of the stick of a close game when they lost 76-72 in the game against Columbus State on Feb. 6. Many of Columbus State’s points came from fastbreaks. Rodney Willis of Columbus State lead the way with 28 points. Of those points, 15 came from threes as he shot 5-11 and 10-18 at the field.
Columbus State’s ability to go small affected the pace of the game, because they were a “small athletic team,” said Eggleston, therefore they had to play small ball to match up with them.
The Commodores fell short after they made an attempt to come back by going on a 8-0 run in the last minute, but there was not enough time on the clock to take the lead.