JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2015) – Using a lop-sided advantage at the foul line and holding off a late rally by the ETSU men’s basketball team, the Wofford Terriers continued to roll in Southern Conference play with a 74-64 win over the Buccaneers Thursday night at Freedom Hall.
The Terriers (19-5 overall, 10-1 SoCon) made a total of 29 free throws on the night compared to 18 for the Bucs, and ultimately built a lead of as many as 22 points at 62-40 with six minutes left in regulation. ETSU – which dropped to 13-9, 6-6 – then employed a full-court, trapping defense to ignite a 22-6 run that made it 68-62 with 1:24 left on the clock.
Unfortunately for the Bucs, the Terriers’ Spencer Collins scored the final six points of the game for Wofford and closed out the win.
“We will be up all night and working early tomorrow morning to get this corrected,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “As a team, you have to have everyone playing well to win games. Right now, that’s not happening. Wofford is a good, well-coached team, and we just didn’t play well enough tonight.”
The Bucs were led by senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.), who finished with a game-high 17 points, while teammates Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) finished with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
For Wofford, forward Lee Skinner finished with another double-double thanks to 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Spencer Collins netted 12 and C.J. Neumann added 11.
In the first half, the Bucs held the advantage for over 10 minutes and led 12-9 with 9:09 left before the intermission. However, Wofford responded at that point, outscoring the Bucs 22-9 over the next seven minutes of action to enjoy their largest lead of the half at 31-21 with 2:02 remaining before halftime.
The Bucs then responded by closing the half on a 4-0 spurt to make it 31-25 at the break. In the first half, sophomore post Isaac Banks (New Orleans) was a bright spot for the Bucs, grabbing seven rebounds, blocking two shots and scoring four points. As a team, the Bucs shot just 37 percent from the floor and were held to a 1-for-5 clip from 3-point range.
After the break, the Terriers consistently got to the line and made a high percentage of those shots, ultimately holding a 19-of-24 clip at the charity stripe compared to the Bucs’ 4-of-6 effort with 15 minutes left in the game. The Wofford lead grew to 62-40 following a 25-9 run midway through the second half, but that’s when the Bucs’ wild defensive switch helped rally the cause.
A handful of Wofford misses at the free throw line and several turnovers led to easy ETSU baskets, and following a layup and foul shot from Bradford, the Bucs had made it 68-62. However, time ran out on the run and the rally.
For the game, the Bucs shot just 29 percent from 3-point range and were 4-of-14 from beyond the arc – six shots below the team’s season average. ETSU did hold advantages in points in the paint (32-28), points off turnovers (21-17), fast break points (17-8) and bench points (31-26), but Wofford finished with the stat that mattered most, a 74-64 victory.
The Bucs will be home for the third straight game on Saturday, hosting SoCon foe Samford at 4 p.m. inside Freedom Hall. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2014-15 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.