JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 1, 2018) -- The ETSU men’s basketball team dropped its Southern Conference opener as the Buccaneers fell at Wofford 79-62 on Saturday night inside Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
In a battle featuring two of the league’s preseason favorites, the final score was not indicative of how close the game actually was. Trailing 54-53 with just over seven minutes remaining, the Bucs couldn’t get over the hump as the Terriers closed on a 25-9 run to finish with the 17-point win.
The game was still in reach at the two-minute mark, but after a no-call following a missed lay-up by Bo Hodges (Nashville, Tenn.), Fletcher Magee hit a three-pointer from the corner to extend Wofford’s lead to 11, 69-58. Following the play, ETSU head coach Steve Forbes stuck up for his team by showing his displeasure on the Hodges’ no-call from the previous possession as he picked up two quick technical fouls and was ejected from the game. Magee hit all four free throws, which extended Wofford’s lead to 15 with 1:36 remaining.
For the game, ETSU shot 38 percent from the field (21-55), while Wofford finished at 51 percent shooting (27-53). The Bucs hit nine threes on the night, while holding the Terriers five below their season average as Wofford was 7-of-22 from beyond the arc. However, free throw shooting doomed the Blue and Gold as they went 11-of-22, compared to the Terriers going 18-of-23. ETSU, who entered the game as one of the top rebounding teams in the country, was minus-13 on the night (36-23). Wofford converted 10 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points, while the Blue and Gold surrendered 34 points in the paint.
Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn.), Isaiah Tisdale (Lexington, Ky.) and Hodges combined for 50 points on 17-of-26 shooting. Tisdale, who had 15 first-half points, led the Bucs with 18, while Good added 17 (4-of-6 from three) and Hodges totaled 15 points and five rebounds.
The Bucs saw their five-game win streak come to an end as ETSU dropped to 6-3, 0-1, while Wofford improved 6-2, 1-0.
Despite holding one of the top three-point shooting teams to one made three in the first half, Wofford still took a 33-29 lead into the break. The first ten minutes of the opening half were tightly contested as neither team led by more than three points, but Wofford used a quick 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the half, 23-15, following a Magee three-pointer with 7:23 remaining in the half. From there, Tisdale got hot as he scored 12 of the Bucs’ final 14 points of the stanza – including a stretch of nine straight – to cut the deficit to four at halftime.
ETSU shot 37 percent (10-27) in the opening 20 minutes with Tisdale netting 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Wofford hit at a 46 percent clip (13-of-28) and were balanced as eight different players scored points.
The Terriers grabbed momentum early in the second half as they pushed their lead to 10, 41-31, following Magee’s three-pointer at the 17:46 mark. From there, Wofford’s lead grew to 14, but ETSU battled and used a 17-4 run to pull within one, 54-53 with 7:08 left in the game. Back-to-back threes by Good ignited the surge, but after a pair of free throws by Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) made it a one-point game, Wofford answered on its next trip down the floor with a jumper from Matt Pegram. The Blue and Gold couldn’t inch closer as the Terriers expanded their lead late in the contest.
Magee led all scorers with 24 points, while Cameron Jackson added 12 points and eight rebounds and Pegram finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
The Bucs return to action Monday night when ETSU hosts Reinhardt at 7 p.m. inside Freedom Hall.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball link.