JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 31, 2013) – ETSU senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) had a chance to force overtime, but his layup attempt at the buzzer rimmed out as Northern Kentucky escaped the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center Thursday night with a 70-68 victory over the Buccaneers in Atlantic Sun Conference play.
Jones’ miss came on a night when he was otherwise brilliant on the offensive end, scoring a career high 23 points while finding himself in a showdown with NKU’s own Jones – senior forward Eshaunte Jones – who posted a game-high with 25 points.
It was Eshaunte Jones who banked in a 3-pointer and was subsequently fouled to complete a rare 4-point play with 26.7 seconds left, giving the Norse a 70-65 lead. The Bucs answered with a 3-pointer of their own from sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa), and Eshaunte Jones was later called for an offensive foul with 10 seconds left to set up Jarvis Jones’ game-tying attempt.
“Late in the game, Jarvis is the guy we want to have the basketball. He got a good look, but it just didn’t go in,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team dropped to 6-17 overall, 4-6 in A-Sun play. “We had our chances, but they just made the plays they needed to make at the end of the game. We’ve been in a lot of tight games this year, and when you’re just not experienced or talented enough, it’s seems like you always find ways to lose.”
The Bucs rallied from a 10-point deficit (55-45) with 10 minutes left in the contest, and actually took the lead when a 3-pointer from Rembert capped an 18-6 run with three minutes left in the game. However, at that point NKU’s Chad Jackson scored five straight points to make it 66-63 with 1:49 left and set up the late game heroics for both teams.
After playing an offensively sluggish game earlier in the year at NKU, both teams showed more signs of a cohesive scoring attack early on in this contest.
In fact, NKU built a lead of as many as six points at 17-11, before ETSU went on a 15-2 run to regain a 26-19 advantage with five minutes left before the break. During that stretch, Jarvis Jones scored 11 of the team’s points. The Norse responded by closing the gap to 31-28 by the break.
For the game, ETSU also got 16 points from freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville), while Rembert finished with 10 points. NKU also got double-figure scoring from Ernest Watson with 16 points, while Jackson netted 12 and Joack Flournoy added 11.
NKU shot 51 percent from the floor and 44 percent from the 3-point line for the game, while ETSU hit on 47 percent of its shots from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range. Both teams finished with 29 rebounds each.
The Bucs will return to action on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m., when they take on Lipscomb inside the Dome. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.