|January 05, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||CIT|
|FG Percentage||.545 (42-77)||.313 (21-67)|
|3P FG Percentage||.435 (10-23)||.182 (6-33)|
|FT Percentage||.600 (21-35)||.657 (23-35)|
DEVONTAVIUS PAYNE - 19
- 8||Brian White
JERMAINE LONG - 5
- 4||Tom Koopman
DEVONTAVIUS PAYNE - 1
ISAAC BANKS - 1
DAVID BURRELL - 1
PETER JURKIN - 1
Ezekiel Balogun - 1
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 5, 2017) – The Citadel Bulldogs may have entered Thursday night’s game leading the Southern Conference in scoring this season, but it was the ETSU men’s basketball team that put on a show.
Scoring a season high 115 points and using a stifling defensive effort to hold The Citadel 29 points below its season scoring average, the Buccaneers took the bite out of the Bulldogs and cruised to a 115-71 win inside McAlister Field House. With the victory, the Bucs improved to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in SoCon play, while the Bulldogs dropped to 8-9, 1-3.
Seven ETSU players reached double figures in the win, led by a game high 19 points each from senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and junior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.). Meanwhile, senior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) finished with 14 points, senior posts Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) posted 12 points apiece, junior guard Jermaine Long (New Orleans) netted 11, and junior post David Burrell (Milwaukee) collected 10.
“I thought we really did a good job of sharing the ball on offense and finding the open man all across the board,” said ETSU head coach Steve Forbes, whose team dished out 23 assists on 39 made baskets. “Having seven guys in double figures is great, but I think our defense is what won the game. I thought we really needed to come in here and guard them like we did last year down here and we did that. They shot just 23 percent in the second half and only made six 3-pointers. That’s a pretty good effort on defense.”
The game was certainly statistically lop-sided in favor of the Bucs, with ETSU shooting 55 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range on the night, compared to a 31 percent clip from the field for the Bulldogs. The Bucs also out-rebounded The Citadel 55-40, while besting the Bulldogs by large margins in points in the paint (58-22), points off turnovers (32-12), second chance points (25-17) and fast break points (10-0).
Playing the team that entered the game leading the SoCon with an average of 100 points a game, it was the Buccaneers who turned the tables on the Bulldogs, scoring a season high 56 points in the first half and leading by 18 points at the break, 56-38. In the first half, the Bucs shot 57 percent from the floor and outrebounded The Citadel 25-13, while outscoring the Bulldogs 28-10 in the paint and 18-4 in second chance points.
Merriweather led the offensive effort in the first half, scoring a game high 12 points before the intermission. He was the only player on the floor to reach double figures before the break.
In the second half, the Bucs continued to pressure The Citadel defensively, holding the Bulldogs’ frenetic offensive attack in check and continuing to increase their lead. In fact, following back-to-back 3-pointers from senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) midway through the half, ETSU enjoyed its largest lead of the game at 80-52 with 10:50 left in regulation.
However, from there the lead only grew and eventually ended at 44 points following a dunk by senior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan), which capped the game’s scoring.
For The Citadel, Brian White finished with a team high 15 points, while teammate Quayson Williams finished with 13.
The Bucs will continue their current SoCon road trip by traveling to Macon, Ga., for a Saturday matchup with Mercer. Tip is set for 4:30 p.m. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2016-17 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.