MACON, Ga. (March 7, 2013) – In a season where offensive inefficiency haunted the ETSU men’s basketball team, the Buccaneers’ final game of the season was a nightmare.
Scoring a season low 22 points in the second half and shooting just 25 percent from the floor for the game, the Bucs relinquished an eight-point first half lead and looked on as Stetson rolled to a 67-46 win in the quarterfinals of the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Championships Thursday afternoon inside Hawkins Arena.
With the loss, ETSU ends the season an uncharacteristic 10-22 overall. Meanwhile, Stetson improved to 15-15 and will advance to Friday’s tournament semifinals.
“We just didn’t make shots, especially some at the rim in the first half, and then we couldn’t make anything in the second half – even at the free throw line,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team has won two of the last four A-Sun Championship titles. “Give Stetson credit. They dominated every phase of the game in the second half. This has been a tough year and we’ve faced a lot of adversity, and all the way our guys have fought. These last two games we just didn’t play well.”
The Bucs ended the year with losses to USC Upstate and Stetson by a combined 53 points, and this is the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Bucs have exited a postseason tournament in the first round.
In what was a sloppy first half offensively for both teams, the Bucs missed multiple shots at the rim but still managed to lead by as many as eight points after a made 3-pointer from sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) with two minutes left in the half. However, Stetson responded at that point and closed the half with a 5-0 spurt to make it 24-21 at the break.
Before the intermission, ETSU shot just 25 percent from the floor but forced Stetson into 10 turnovers, which was the key to the Bucs’ edge at halftime.
After the break, Stetson stayed aggressive on the offensive end and ultimately opened the half with another 13-1 run to take a 34-25 lead with just over 14 minutes left in the game. The Stetson lead remained at nine for the three minutes, but ETSU’s scoring issues only continued and the Hatters closed out the game by outscoring the Bucs 28-19 the rest of the way to pick up the 21-point victory.
ETSU freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) and senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) were the only Bucs to reach double figures in the game with 11 points each. Meanwhile, Stetson got a game-high 17 points from post Adam Pegg, along with 16 from guard Joel Naburgs and 13 from guard Willie Green.
Stetson dominated the rebound battle 43-30, while dishing out 14 assists to just five for the Bucs. Meanwhile, the Hatters shot 78 percent from the free throw line, while ETSU hit on just 48 percent of its shots from the charity stripe.
With the end of the 2012-13 season, ETSU fans can stay informed about the men’s basketball program by visiting ETSUBucs.com and clicking on the men’s hoops link.