Johnson City, Tenn. --- The Buccaneers overcame a 21-point deficit in the first half to defeat Crossfire Ministries 75-72 in exhibition basketball action at Brooks Gym.
Crossfire jumped out to an early 36-15 lead on the three-point shooting of Josh Kohn. Kohn, a guard who played his college ball at UNC Asheville, scored 15 points in the first 13+ minutes of the game on four three-pointers and three free throws. Following Kohn's three that gave Crossfire the 21 point lead, ETSU closed the half with a 20-3 run to trail at the half by just one, 36-35.
In the second half, ETSU took its first lead since early in the game at 51-49 on a jumper by Dimeco Childress. The two teams would trade the lead until the 10:53 mark when ETSU took the lead for good on a three by Childress at 58-56. The Bucs would expand its lead to nine, 71-62, on a three-pointer by freshman guard Michael Griffith with 4:00 to play.
Crossfire would counter with a run of its own over the next 2:50 as it cut the Buc lead to 73-72 on a 8-2 run. Crossfire had an opportunity to take the lead with :07 to play, but a late turnover by Kohn and an immediate foul, also by Kohn, allowed Cliff DeCoster to ice the game for ETSU with a pair of free throws at :04.
The Bucs were led by D.J. McDuffie with 15 points. Childress and Leo Murray each added 13 points. Murray led the Bucs with nine rebounds. Kohn led all scorers with 24 points. Will Ratliff finished with 18 for Crossfire and Randy Shepherd finished with 12.
ETSU will open its regular season on November 19 when it travels to Clemson.