JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2014) – Dunk City meet Trey City.
The ETSU men’s basketball team hit nine 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 12 for the game, leading wire-to-wire in an 89-81 victory over Florida Gulf Coast Thursday night in Atlantic Sun Conference play at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) scored a career high 31 points and four other ETSU players reached double figures to power the Buccaneers, who improved to 15-12 overall, 8-6 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, FGCU – which began the game tied for first place in the league – dropped to 16-10, 10-3.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team played without senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard who was out with an injured knee. “We got off to a great start and led the whole game. To have lost to this team by 28 points earlier in the year and to play tonight without KGG, this is a really satisfying win. It’s only one win, but it’s a good one.”
Along with Rembert – who hit six 3-pointers on the night and moved into fourth place on the program’s all-time single season list for made threes – ETSU also got two double-double efforts from senior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) and freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson). Harris finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Merriweather added 10 points and 11 boards.
Meanwhile, sophomore forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) netted 18 points on six 3-pointers, and junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) netted 11. In addition, sophomore point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) had eight assists on just two turnovers.
The Bucs’ shooting was remarkable in the first half, especially from long range, as Wilson and Rembert combined to hit nine 3-pointers. That outside shooting was particularly sharp in the first six minutes of the game, as Rembert hit four in a row and Wilson added another during a 22-8 run to open the contest.
From there, the ETSU lead ballooned to as many as 19 points at 38-19, but FGCU managed to cut that advantage to 11 thanks to a 9-1 run which made it 39-28 with five minutes left before the intermission. The Bucs did manage to regroup at that point and ultimately finished the half with a 45-32 advantage.
After the break, FGCU continued to cut into the ETSU lead and actually pulled to within four points at 71-67 with 3:54 left in the game. However, Wilson made his final three of the game at that point to make it 74-67 and the Eagles never got any closer.
For the Eagles, Bernard Thompson scored a team-high 23, while Chase Fieler added 17.
The Bucs out-rebounded the Eagles 48-40, and shot 40 percent from 3-point range for the game, to go with a 73 percent clip from the free throw line. ETSU also forced 15 turnovers and had 11 steals on the night.
The Bucs will return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Stetson, as the team will honor its seniors and wrap up the home portion of the regular season schedule. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.