JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2015) – Junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) eclipsed 1,000 points for his career and senior teammates Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) each scored a team-high 18 points, as the ETSU men’s basketball team dropped The Citadel 70-59 in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Thursday night at Freedom Hall.
The Buccaneers, who improved to 12-6 overall, 6-3 in SoCon play, led by as many as 23 in the first half but had to hold off a resilient Bulldogs team to pick up the victory. With the loss, The Citadel drops to 8-11, 3-5.
“I thought for the first 12 minutes of the game we played like a really good basketball team,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “But they went to a zone for the other 28 minutes and it gave us a lot of trouble. Give them credit, because they didn’t make it easy for us.”
Wilson – who entered the game just one point shy of 1,000 for his career – wasted little time reaching that special milestone, hitting the first shot of the game with a 3-pointer at the 19:13 mark of the first half.
That basket was the first of many for the Bucs over the first 12 minutes of game action, as ETSU shot extremely well from the field and sprinted out to a 32-9 with 7:43 left before the intermission. Unfortunately for ETSU, the Bulldogs did not simply go away, responding with a 15-0 run of their own to finish the first half down just 39-30.
At the intermission, ETSU was shooting 52 percent from the floor and 43 percent from 3-point range.
After the break, both teams exchanged offensive punches, with the Bulldogs getting to within four early in the second half and later getting to within five on multiple occasions. The last surge by The Citadel came with six minutes left in the game, when a 3-pointer by Bulldogs’ sharpshooter Ashton Moore made it 60-55.
However, at that point the Bucs scored six in a row, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Rembert that made it 66-56 with 1:29 left in the game. From there the Bucs hit their free throws and ended the ’Dogs threat for good.
Along with Rembert and Riley, Wilson finished with 11 points, while sophomore guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) had 10 points and five rebounds. In addition, sophomore post Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) enjoyed a solid night, scoring seven points and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.
For The Citadel, Moore finished with 19 points, while guard Jake Wright hit six 3-pointers to finish with 18.
The Bucs finished the game shooting 48 percent from the floor and 72 percent from the free throw line, while holding the Bulldogs to 39 percent shooting from outside. ETSU also held a 28-14 advantage on points in the paint.
The Bucs will be back on the road in SoCon play on Saturday, taking on preseason favorite Wofford at 7 p.m. in Spartanburg, S.C. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2014-15 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.