Men’s Basketball Goes 1-1 in CIAA/PSAC Challenge

ESU Junior Guard Jamal Nwaniemeka was named to the All-Challenge team following the CIAA/PSAC Challenge. Photo Credit / David Kidwell
ESU Junior Guard Jamal Nwaniemeka was named to the All-Challenge team following the CIAA/PSAC Challenge. Photo Credit / David Kidwell
ESU Junior Guard Jamal Nwaniemeka was named to the All-Challenge team following the CIAA/PSAC Challenge.
Photo Credit / David Kidwell

By John Reed
SC Staff Writer

Senior guard Matt Tobin put up 16 points and five assists to lead the Warriors — ranked No. 4 in the NABC DII preseason poll — to a 92-72 win at Lincoln University on the first night of the CIAA/PSAC Challenge on Friday, November 14.

Four other Warriors hit double figures as sophomore forward Rasheed Moore scored 14 points, senior guard Whis Grant and junior guard Jamal Nwaniemeka added 11 points apiece, and redshirt senior guard Will Brown contributed 10 points for the Warriors (1-0).

Head coach Jeff Wilson, who is entering his 13th season, has now accumulated 214 victories, which is one win away from the school’s all-time record held by Ken Sisson.

The Warriors did an outstanding job on the glass by outrebounding the Lions 47-39.

Senior forward Lamont Tillery and Nwaniemeka did the bulk of the work with nine rebounds each — they combined for five of the team’s twenty offensive rebounds.

ESU jumped all over the Lions in the early going, with a 14-3 run to start the game, and never allowed Lincoln to get closer than six points the rest of the way.

By the time Tobin sank two free throws at the 8:47 mark of the first half, ESU grabbed and held onto a double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest.

The Warriors closed out the first half with a 17-5 run and the score ballooned to 50-28.

Lincoln, picked second in the CIAA Northern Division and coming off a 20-9 season, was never really in this game as ESU played with a 20-point lead for the majority of the second half.

The Warriors led DII in turnover margin (6.97) in 2013-14, and they began the 2014-2015 season right where they left off as they posted a plus-five turnover margin (20-15) against the Lions.

Whis Grant has 1,498 career points, which puts him fourth on ESU’s career point totals and only 58 points behind Earle Greer for third, after his 11-point performance against Lincoln.

ESU shot a respectable 41.3 percent from the field, but only managed to connect on 20.0 percent of their three-point attempts. The Warriors put up good numbers from the candy stripe, shooting over 70 percent in both halves, and finished at 73.5 percent (25-for-34) for the game.

The Lions shot just 38.3 percent (18-for-47) from the field and posted and astounding 57 free throw attempts — 23 more attempts than the Warriors. Lincoln’s abysmal shooting from the line, 32-for-57, coupled with attempting 28 fewer field goal attempts than the Warriors led to the rout.

This tune-up would set the stage for the Warriors as they faced Bowie State on Saturday, November 15.

Freshman guard Ahmaad Wilson poured in 19 points off the bench and earned MVP honors as Bowie State, preseason favorites to win the CIAA Northern Division, narrowly held off the Warriors (1-1) for a 76-71 win on the second day of the CIAA/PSAC Challenge at Lincoln University.

ESU’s dismantling of host Lincoln 92-72 on Friday night seemed a precursor for things to come as the Warriors led by 11 points in the first half and by eight with 12 minutes remaining before Bowie State (2-0) rallied with a 19-5 run beginning at the 11:33 mark of the second half.

With Matt Tobin nailing a three-pointer to extend the Warriors’ lead to 51-43, it looked as if the Warriors were well on their way to another rout.

Junior guard Jamal Nwaniemeka led ESU with 17 points in 25 minutes worth of work, and he was also named to the All-Challenge team, along with Bowie State’s Andre Jackson and Cameron Knox.

Senior guard Whis Grant scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out six assists in 30 minutes of action. Grant now sits at 1,513 career points and is now 43 points behind Earle Greer in total career points.

Senior forward Lamont Tillery put in work on the glass as four of his six rebounds were of the offensive variety.

He also contributed 13 points on 5-11 shooting. Starting forward Rasheed Moore scored 11 points on an off night as he went 3-7 from the field and added six rebounds.

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