JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 29, 2013) – Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) scored a game-high 33 points and freshman A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) finished with a spectacular stat line as the ETSU men’s basketball team raced away from neighboring Milligan College 118-83 Tuesday night in exhibition action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
While Rembert made nine of the Bucs’ 15 3-pointers in the game – a number that would have tied the school record if the game was a regular season contest – Merriweather tallied an attention-grabbing 17 points, seven rebounds and five steals in just 17 minutes of action to lead the ETSU attack.
Both performances were impressive.
"I wish we had 13 other players like A.J.,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “He plays with passion, energy, and is the most vocal guy we have on the floor. He’s a team guy who just gets it, and he played a fabulous game tonight. I was happy with Rashawn, too. There’s not another guy on the team that’s worked as hard over the last four months to improve his game, and it was good to see that pay off.”
While Bartow was pleased with his team offensively, especially their 51 percent shooting percentage and 84 percent free throw percentage for the game, there were concerns defensively. Milligan shot 44 percent from the floor as a team, and the Buffs also hit on 45 percent of their 3-point shots in the contest.
In fact, the Buffs were as close as seven at 41-34 with 2:51 left in the first half, before the Bucs managed to make it 50-38 at the break. After the intermission, ETSU progressively increased their lead before holding its largest advantage of the game at 116-78 with 49 seconds left.
"Offensively, I liked a lot of what I saw,” Bartow said. “But defensively, we might have had a lot of effort and energy, but we weren’t in the right place. We had a lot of breakdowns and were just abysmal, and that’s disappointing because we’ve spent a lot of our time on our defense this preseason.”
Along with Rembert and Merriweather, the Bucs also got 16 points from junior college transfer Jalen Riley (Racine, Wisc.) and senior Hunter Harris (Nashville, Tenn.) pitched in 10. For Milligan, Mike Woods Jr. led the way with 21 points and Tyler Rose reached double figures with 10.
The Bucs will return to action on Homecoming Saturday with a 4 p.m. exhibition matchup against Mars Hill inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.