JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2013) – Entering Thursday’s game against North Florida, the ETSU men’s basketball team had never lost a regular season meeting to the Ospreys in 14 previous games. That streak no longer exists.
Shooting poorly for much of the game and struggling to find any offensive rhythm, the Buccaneers were unable to begin their weekend Jacksonville swing in a winning way, dropping a 77-64 decision to their Atlantic Sun Conference foe inside the UNF Arena.
With the loss, ETSU falls to 9-20 overall, 7-9 in A-Sun play, while North Florida improved to 11-17, 6-9.
“We got off to a horrible start and they got off to a good start, and from there it just wasn’t very good,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “We have to play better. The attitude on this team is good, the effort at practice is there, but we just aren’t translating that to the floor. Hopefully, we can bounce back like we have all season and play better on Saturday against Jacksonville.”
For the second game in a row, the Buccaneers struggled mightily on the offensive end. In fact, ETSU shot just 13 percent from the floor during the first 10 minutes of the game and fell behind by as many as 14 points at 18-4.
It only got worse from there, as UNF’s lead increased to 29-12 with five minutes left before the break. The Bucs did manage to cut the halftime deficit to 12 at 33-21, but it wasn’t a pretty first half as the team shot just 27 percent from the field before intermission.
After the break, ETSU managed to cut the lead to eight at 46-38 on a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) with just under 12 minutes left in the game. But that would be as close as ETSU could get the rest of the way.
Following a dunk by forward Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.), the freshman was tagged with a technical foul for taunting a UNF player which seemed to ignite the UNF offense, resulting in an 8-2 run that inflated the Ospreys’ lead back to 59-42. The Ospreys never looked back from there.
The Bucs shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and were out-rebounded 47-34 for the game. Meanwhile, UNF dished out 14 assists and hit on 44 percent from the field and 71 percent at the foul line. For the second straight game, ETSU managed just four assists.
For ETSU, Rembert and senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) each scored a team-high 16 points, while freshmen Lester Wilson (Knoxville) and Barrueta netted 10 points each.
Travis Wallace led the way for UNF with a game-high 17 points, while Charles McRoy and Beau Beech pitched in 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Bucs will return to action on Saturday afternoon, taking on Jacksonville at 3:15 p.m. inside the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
For more on the ETSU men’s basketball team throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.