JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2013) – ETSU head coach Murry Bartow says consistency is the key to his team’s performance this season. Unfortunately for Bartow, his Buccaneers were once again unable to deliver a consistent effort Tuesday night against Winthrop.
Despite a 15-0 offensive run that turned around a 48-34 deficit and gave the Bucs a 49-48 lead with 12:43 left in the game, the Eagles responded with their own 14-2 burst to pull back ahead and they never relinquished that advantage in a 76-66 victory inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
“When we start playing consistently for 40 minutes, then we’ll start winning some games, but until then it’s going to be tough,” Bartow said. “We made a great run to get the lead, but then I think we got fatigued and looked tired. If you look at all four games we’ve played and analyze them, we’re right there. If we can figure out how to avoid being inconsistent, that’s the key.”
Winthrop was led by forward Joab Jerome with a game-high 18 points, while forward James Bourne pitched in 12, guard Keon Johnson netted 11, and guard Andre Smith added 10. For the Bucs, senior forwards Hunter Harris (Nashville) and Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) led the way with 18 points and 16 points, respectively, while junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wisc.) collected 12.
In looking at the final statistics, the Bucs inconsistency was obvious, as the team shot just 29.2 percent from the floor in the first half, but was an impressive 64 percent from the field in the second half. ETSU also scored just 25 points in the first half, compared to 41 in the second half. That poor offensive effort in the first half allowed Winthrop to build a lead of 35-25 at the intermission, and they extended that lead to 48-34 with 16:15 left in the game.
At that point, Gadsden-Gilliard scored eight straight thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers and a field goal, helping power the Bucs’ comeback that ended with a 3-pointer by senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) that made it 49-48. From there, though, Winthrop outscored the Bucs 28-17.
Again, the Bucs were out-rebounded 36-31 and committed 17 turnovers in the game. ETSU did shoot better from the floor with a 45.7 percent clip for the game, but Winthrop shot 49.2 percent on the night. The Eagles also shot 47.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Bucs will return to action on Thursday night as the team plays the first of three games inside Freedom Hall as part of the First Bank and Trust Company Roundball Showcase. ETSU will take on Samford at 7 p.m.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.