|December 15, 2015||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||AVL|
|FG Percentage||.471 (24-51)||.532 (33-62)|
|3P FG Percentage||.375 (6-16)||.412 (7-17)|
|FT Percentage||.435 (10-23)||.647 (11-17)|
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 15, 2015) – The ETSU men’s basketball team’s troubles away from home continued Tuesday night at UNC Asheville, as the Buccaneers dropped their third straight road game in an 84-64 loss inside Kimmel Arena.
Falling behind 9-0 in the opening minutes of the game, the Bucs again struggled with a slow start and never recovered. For the game, Asheville shot 53 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Bucs 43-27 on way to improving to 6-4 on the year. Meanwhile, ETSU falls to 4-5 on the young season.
“We’ve not played well early in games and that’s something we have to figure out,” said ETSU head coach Steve Forbes. “They got ahead right at the start and we didn’t respond at all. Again, we talked about that and other things like rebounding, and we weren’t very good there either. We have some issues that we obviously need to correct.”
For the Bulldogs, Dwayne Sutton and Ahmad Thomas led the way with double-double efforts. Sutton finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Thomas netted a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Other Asheville players to reach double figures on the scoreboard included Kevin Vannatta with 13 points and Sam Hughes with 11.
Meanwhile, ETSU got a team-high 13 points from junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), while Benny Lufile (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) pitched in 10.
It was a nightmarish first half for the Bucs, especially on the defensive end of the court. Asheville shot 59 percent from the floor and 46 percent from 3-point range, out-rebounding the Bucs 25-12 and ultimately outscoring ETSU 49-27 before the intermission.
Senior point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) was the lone bright spot in the first half, scoring seven points, dishing out three assists and picking up a steal. For Asheville, Thomas had 11 points and six rebounds before the break.
In the second half, the Bulldogs continued to hold a decisive advantage on the glass and built a lead of as many as 31 points at 70-39 with 10 minutes left in regulation. At that point, the Bucs did manage to cut into the lead, but never got closer than 20 points behind the Bulldogs.
For the game, Asheville outscored ETSU 20-3 in second chance points and 42-30 in the paint. The Bucs did hold a 22-12 edge in bench points, but that was the lone positive team stat for ETSU.
The Bucs will be back home to take on Ohio Valley Conference opponent Eastern Kentucky on Friday at 7 p.m. inside Freedom Hall.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2015-16 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.