JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 22, 2014) – Tying a school record with 15 made 3-pointers as a team and powered by a game-high 31 points from senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.), the ETSU men’s basketball won an offensive showcase 98-87 over non-conference opponent UNC Asheville Saturday evening inside Freedom Hall.
With ETSU shooting 53 percent from the field and the Bulldogs connecting on a 52 percent clip for the night, a total of eight players scored in double figures with four on each team. While Rembert finished with 31, teammates such as senior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) netted 16, guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) collected 12, and senior post Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass.) pitched in an important 10 points.
Giplaye also just missed on a double-double, collecting nine rebounds and three steals in his best performance as a Buccaneer. Harris’ points and three made 3-pointers were also career bests for the sophomore.
“(Rashawn) was great and it can be fun when you start seeing those shots going down,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team improved to 2-1 on the season. “I thought offensively we looked really good, but defensively we still have a lot of work to do. I do think a huge key though was the turnovers we created and the steals we were able to get.”
While the offense was impressive, the defensive numbers were critical to the Bucs’ success. ETSU forced Asheville into 23 turnovers and swiped 13 steals, while the Bucs gave up the basketball just 11 times on the night.
With two talented offensive teams on the floor, the first half was a shootout. Both squads shot over 50 percent from the field before the intermission, with ETSU ultimately using a 22-10 run over the final six minutes to lead 53-42 at the break. The Bucs ended up connecting on nine 3-pointers in the first half, led by three each from Rembert and Harris.
Asheville’s Andrew Rowsey was equally impressive, hitting four threes of his own before half and netting 17 points in all. The key for the Bucs was creating 13 Asheville turnovers.
After the break, ETSU continued to bomb away from outside and built a lead of as many as 15 at 69-54 with just over 12 minutes left in the game. However, Asheville slowly worked its way back into the contest and got to within four at 88-84 with four minutes left on the clock.
At that point though, a free throw by sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson), a layup by junior guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.), followed by a steal and a score by Riley helped the Bucs back out to a nine-point advantage and basically iced the game.
For Asheville, Rowsey finished with an impressive 29 points, while forward Kem Ubaru netted 17, and teammates Kevin Vannatta and David Robertson collected 14 points apiece.
ETSU’s bench outscored the Bulldogs 43-18, while the Bucs also held advantages in points in the paint (34-20) and points off turnovers (31-16).
The Bucs will return to action on the road Monday night at Winthrop. Game time in Rock Hill, S.C. is set for 7 p.m. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2014-15 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.