February 28, 20151st2ndFinal
ETSU382664
Mercer343569
Stats at a GlanceETSUMER
FG Percentage.328 (20-61) .400 (24-60)
3P FG Percentage.353 (12-34) .280 (7-25)
FT Percentage.800 (12-15) .667 (14-21)
Offensive Rebounds1414
Defensive Rebounds2728
Total Rebounds4142
Turnovers1110
Steals98
Bench Points2622
LeadersETSUMER
PointsJalen Riley - 24
Darious Moten - 16
ReboundsA.J. Merriweather - 8
TEAM - 8
AssistsPetey McClain - 7
Phillip Leonard - 4
Jordan Strawberry - 4
StealsJalen Riley - 3
Jibri Bryan - 2
Darious Moten - 2
BlocksA.J. Merriweather - 2
Stephon Jelks - 1
T.J. Hallice - 1
Darious Moten - 1
ETSU men set for regular season finale at Mercer
Senior guard Rashawn Rembert and the Bucs will play their regular season finale Saturday at 4 p.m. inside Mercer's University Center.
ETSU men set for regular season finale at Mercer
Friday, February 27, 2015

MACON, Ga. (Feb. 28, 2015) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will wrap up its regular season schedule on the road Saturday afternoon, taking on Southern Conference rival Mercer at 4 p.m. inside the University Center.

Fans wishing to watch the game can do so via ESPN3, while the Buccaneer Sports Network presented by East Coast Wings will also be on hand to provide the live radio broadcast.

The Bucs are looking to regain some momentum after dropping a heartbreaking one-point loss to The Citadel on Thursday night. However, the Bears will be celebrating Senior Day on Saturday and will certainly provide a major challenge for the Bucs.

Win or loss, ETSU is assured of a 4th or 5th-place seed in the upcoming Southern Conference Tournament, and the Bucs opponent for that Saturday, March 7th matchup will be either Western Carolina or VMI at 2:30 p.m., inside the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.

For more on Saturday’s matchup, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball during the final weeks of the 2014-15 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.

 Game Notes

We are “ETSU”

The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” ... East Tennessee State University in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.

 

Buc bits

The ETSU men’s basketball program enjoyed a solid campaign in 2013-14, winning 19 games on the year and earning a berth into the CollegeInsider.com Tournament ... The trip to the CIT marked the sixth postseason trip for the Bucs in head coach Murry Bartow’s 11 seasons at ETSU (three NCAAs, one NIT and two CIT trips) ... In addition, the Bucs enjoyed a first round  postseason tournament victory over Lipscomb in a thrilling double overtime game, while also giving Florida Gulf Coast a scare in the tournament semifinals in Fort Myers, Fla. ... ETSU went on to defeat longtime rival and newly-renewed conference foe Chattanooga in the first round of the CIT at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ... The key to success for the Bucs in 2013-14 was the play of an impressive backcourt and that group will return this year led by rising seniors Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.), along with rising junior Lester Wilson (Knoxville) ... While that trio will be back to lead the Bucs, the team will also return starters A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) and Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) this season ... One major area of concern for the Bucs will  be the frontcourt, as the team lost all of its contributors from a year ago ... Along with the loss of senior Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass.) to a knee injury earlier this season, sophomore Isaac Banks, and newcomers such as senior Alex Bates (Greenbelt, Md.), junior Tommy Williams and freshman Karl Overstreet (Lynchburg, Va.)  are left to make up for those losses on the inside ... Other players who are expected to contribute this season include sophomore guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.), who showed great potential at the end of last season, and freshman guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt), who was a Mr. Basketball selection during his senior year of high school.

 

The series vs. Mercer

The Bucs lead the all-time series over Mercer 13-7, but ETSU had lost five of the last six meetings before defeating the Bears 71-70 back on Jan. 8, 2015 in Johnson City ... The majority of the past 20 matchups were played over the last nine seasons, as the two teams were previously members of the Atlantic Sun Conference ... ETSU actually defeated Mercer in the championship game of the 2010 A-Sun Tournament on the Bears home floor.

 

Last time out vs. Mercer

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2015) – Leading by 13 points with seven minutes left in regulation, the ETSU men’s basketball team held on as a frantic Mercer rally ended when a last-second shot by the Bears’ Darious Moten missed the mark, giving the Buccaneers a 71-70 win in Southern Conference play Thursday evening inside Freedom Hall. ...

For the game, the Bucs were led by a game-high 22 points from senior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.), while fellow senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) finished with 17 and junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) had 14. ... The first half was highly entertaining, with both teams playing well on the offensive end of the floor. Mercer finished the half shooting 56 percent from the field, while ETSU committed just two turnovers and shot 43 percent from 3-point range. ... Mercer led much of the first half, but the Bucs closed the first 20 minutes with a defensive stop and then four straight offensive rebounds on one possession, which ended when sophomore guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) hit a layup at the buzzer. That score made it 36-34 at the intermission. ... The Bucs’ perimeter trio of Rembert, Wilson and Riley powered a 14-0 offensive run to open the second half, as each hit from beyond the arc and Riley netted eight of those 14 points to make it 48-38 with just 16 minutes left in regulation. ETSU’s lead grew to as many as 13 on three different occasions in the second half, but with 3:25 left in the game a layup by Mercer’s Jordan Strawberry capped an 8-3 run to make it 69-62. ... From there, the Bears continued to chip away at the Bucs’ lead and ultimately using an 8-2 run – capped by a dunk from Moten with 40 seconds left – to make it 71-70. On the next possession, Riley turned the ball over with nine seconds left, and the Bucs were left to make a defensive stop. ... The Bears in-bounded the ball and were unable to progress to the basket quick enough as the Bucs implemented a full-court defense, forcing a timeout by head coach Bob Hoffman with 2.8 seconds left on the clock. After the timeout, the Bears did run a well-designed play to get Moten an open look from 15 feet, but the shot missed the mark.

 

Last time out

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Feb. 26, 2015) – The Citadel’s Ashton Moore hit a jumper with three seconds left in regulation to give the Bulldogs’ a 74-73 win over the ETSU men’s basketball team inside McAlister Field House. ... Moore’s shot overshadowed the late-game heroics of ETSU’s Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.), who hit three shots that gave the Bucs a lead in the last two minutes – including a jumper that made it 73-72 with eight seconds left on the clock. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they couldn’t make a final defensive stop to seal the win. ... Moore finished with a game-high 21 points, while his fellow guard Jake Wright added 15, and teammates Quinton Marshall and Brian White each pitched in 10. For the Bucs, Riley and sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) each had a team-high 19 points, while senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) netted 10.

Key to the victory was The Citadel’s perfect 18-of-18 shooting clip at the foul line – led by Moore’s 9-of-9 effort at the line.

 

Bucs make it a “trio” in the 1,000 point club

While senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers earlier this year, senior teammate Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) made it an “elite trio” during the game with Chattanooga (2/21) ... Riley, who finished with 31 points in that game, is now one of 38 ETSU players all-time to reach 1,000 points ... He is only the second junior college transfer player to reach that mark in two seasons, joining former Buc great Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), who did it from 2007-09.

 

Riley rolling in SoCon play, one of nation’s best scorers

In 16 games against SoCon teams this season, guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) has put up impressive scoring numbers ... Riley is averaging 22.2 ppg in SoCon games, while shooting 42 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent at line ... In those games, he is also averaging 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals ... For the year, Riley is first in the SoCon in scoring with 20.6 points per game, and he ranks 8th nationally as well. ... Riley has produced these numbers despite not starting much of the season, instead coming off the bench.

 

Rembert making his place in ETSU hoops history

Senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) has become one of the most feared shooters in the country over the last two years ... Rembert now stands at 257 career makes from behind the arc, which puts him second on the Bucs’ all-time list ahead of all-time great Keith “Mister” Jennings ... Rembert will now set his sights on first place, which is held by Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who made 276 3-pointers from 2005 to 2009 ... Rembert also currently stands 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,307 points ... The quality numbers don’t stop with just scoring and 3-point shooting, as a year ago he set Top 10 single season marks for free throw shooting percentage (.842), while also  helping the Bucs finish with the top season marks ever for free throws made (656) and attempted (877).

Bucs rank among best in NCAA in various categories

This season, the Buccaneers are ranking among the best teams and players in the country in various categories ... The chart to the left shows where the Bucs rank following games on Feb 26th.

 

Rembert’s consecutive start streak snapped in Chattanooga

Struggling with an illness for much of last week, senior guard Rashawn Rembert was unable to start the Bucs’ game at Chattanooga on Feb. 21 ... This snapped a streak of 68 straight games started by Rembert dating back to the 2012-13 season.  ... Junior forward Lester Wilson now holds the longest streak of consecutive starts on the team at 29.

 

Three-dom Hall

This season, it’s no secret that the Buccaneers are relying on their 3-point shooting as a major component of the team’s offense this year ... In 14 home games  this season, the team has combined to hit 236 3-pointers, and has tied the school record for 3-pointers in a game (15) two times at home -- and a total of three times all together ... Those numbers have led some people to start calling Freedom Hall by a new moniker -- Three-dom Hall ... As a team, the Bucs currently rank 9th nationally with 9.3 3-pointers per game ... Individually, senior guards Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) are ranked among the nation’s best in threes per game ... Rembert is 16th (3.1 pg) and Riley is 37th (2.7).

 

Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years

Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 857 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.  ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.

 

Harris steps up game in win over UNC Greensboro

Setting career highs for points (13), field goals (5) and minutes played (28), sophomore guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) also enjoyed his third career double-double thanks to 10 rebounds in the win over UNC Greensboro (2/12) ... That outing only continues to show Harris’ growth as a player, as he had consistently provided valuable minutes ... He currently ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and ranks fifth in scoring (6.0 ppg). ... Unfortunately for Harris, he was injured during warmups against Furman on Feb. 14 and missed three straight games before returning to play against The Citadel (2/26).

 

Bradford provides spark, shows signs of a bright future

With several key contributors not available for the game with Furman on Feb. 14, freshman guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) was given his first career start and played career high 26 minutes ... He responded during those minutes -- especiall in the final five minutes of the game when he hit a pressure-packed 3-pointer and scored seven straight points to seal the victory in an otherwise tight game ... Bradford has shown signs of this potential before ... with the Bucs trailing Wofford on Feb. 5, Bradford gave fans a glimpse of what could be a bright future for the former Mr. Basketball winner from the state of Tennessee ... During the final five minutes of that contest, Bradford scored 14 points and collected three steals.

 

Perimeter trio accounts for signiciant offensive output

The trio of senior guards Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.), along with forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville), accounted for over 50 percent of the team’s offensive production a year ago, with Rembert and Riley leading the team with 16.8 and 13.4 points per game, respectively, while Wilson pitched in 10.1 points per game. ... That same group has picked up where it left off a year ago, with Riley leading the team with 20.6 ppg, Rembert second with 14.8 a contest, and Wilson netting 12.3 ppg.

 

McClain making place next to ETSU’s greatest PG

ETSU fans have fond memories over former point guard and All-American Keith “Mister” Jennings, who is considered the program’s greatest player ... What many fans may not realize is that current point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) is quietly making a place next to Jennings in the ETSU record books ... Currently, McClain ranks No. 2 next to Jennings on the Bucs’ all-time assist/turnover ratio list, making him one of the two best guards in school history for protecting the basketball ... McClain also entered the year ranking in the Top 10 all-time for total assists (10th) and assists per game (6th). ... In fact, McClain matched his career high with 11 assists in the loss to Tennessee (12/31). ... Currently, McClain ranks first in the SoCon and 13th nationally in assist/TO ratio at 3.1, and is second in the SoCon in assists per game with 4.1 a contest.

 

Bartow atop list of second generation coaches

Murry Bartow’s coaching lineage is undeniable ... As the son of the late Gene Bartow, he had the fortunate opportunity to grow up learning from one of the most successful basketball coaches in college history ... Setting off on his own career, Bartow has carried on the tradition. ... His 221 wins at ETSU ranks second on the Bucs’ all-time list ... In addition, Bartow’s 324 career victories ranks No. 1 among second generation coaches ... Along with his father’s 647 career wins, the Bartow men have combined for 971 victories, ranking fourth on the all-time win list for Father/Son coaches.

 

Bucs adds to postseason resume in 2013-14

The ETSU men’s basketball team has enjoyed its share of postseason success and ranks as one of the nation’s most prestigious basketball programs ... The Buccaneers have earned berths to the NCAA Tournament nine times (1969, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010) and NIT twice (1983, 2007) ... A year ago, the Bucs made their second trip all-time to the CIT Postseason Tournament, marking the program’s 13th postseason tournament appearance all-time ... In the Bucs first CIT appearance, ETSU went 2-1 with wins over Furman and Ohio, advancing  to the tournament semifinals before losing to Iona in a hard-fought 83-80 contest at the Dome ...  Last year, the Bucs went 1-1, defeating fellow Southern Conference member Chattanooga before falling to Towson in the quarterfinals.