JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 18, 2012) – A 34-6 offensive run to end the first half and another 12-0 burst midway through the second half was too much for the ETSU men’s basketball team to overcome, as the Buccaneers dropped a 72-51 decision to an offensively streaky Charleston Southern squad Tuesday evening inside historic Brooks Gym.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 2-7 and suffered its fourth straight defeat by 19 points or more, while Charleston Southern improved to 4-5 on the young season.
“We got off to a good start tonight, but the last 12 minutes of the first half were abysmal and a 10-minute stretch there in the second half was even more abysmal,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team must now regroup and head to Hawaii for a first round matchup with No. 4 Arizaon at the Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22. “Right now we have so many holes to fill it’s hard to know where to start.”
In a non-conference battle between two teams that met earlier this season – a 59-57 win for ETSU back on Nov. 20 – the home-standing Bucs burst out to a 12-3 lead and looked good. However, at that point CSU ignited its offense and finished the first half with a 37-18 advantage.
ETSU rallied in the second half to get to within eight points at 49-41, but Southern responded once again by outscoring the Bucs 23-10 the rest of the way to seal the victory.
CSU got a game-high 25 points from guard Arlon Harper, while Jeremy Sexton and Cedrick Bowen pitched in 15 and 14 points, respectively. Meanwhile, ETSU freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) scored in a team-high 16 points, while senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) netted 13 in the losing effort.
Shooting 47 percent from the floor and an impressive 43 percent from 3-point range, Southern also held a 42-28 advantage on the boards and hit on 72 percent of its free throws in a statistically impressive performance.
Meanwhile, ETSU was a disappointing 6-of-29 from 3-point range (21 percent) and committed 14 turnovers in the game. From the field, the Bucs were just 21-of-59 (37 percent) and took only five free throws the entire night.
The Bucs will return to action on Saturday against Arizona in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPNU, with tip set for 10:30 p.m. (EST) inside Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Arena. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.