|December 21, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||WY||ETSU|
|FG Percentage||.308 (16-52)||.456 (31-68)|
|3P FG Percentage||.409 (9-22)||.238 (5-21)|
|FT Percentage||.600 (12-20)||.643 (9-14)|
- 25||Jeromy Rodriguez
Patrick Good - 12
TAYLOR - 8
- 6||Daivien Williamson
- 3||Mladen Armus
D'Andre Bernard - 2
BANKS - 1
EL PASO, Texas (Dec. 21, 2018) -- Thanks to the combination of a strong start and solid defense, the ETSU men’s basketball team defeated Wyoming 76-53 on Friday night from the Sun Bowl Invitational inside the Don Haskins Center.
The Buccaneer defense reached historic heights in the first half as they held Wyoming to one made field goal (26 attempts), which according to the NCAA record book, is only the second time since 1986 where a team has accomplished the feat. Kansas State held Savannah State to one make (23 attempts) back on Jan. 7, 2008. Wyoming’s 3.8 shooting percentage was also the lowest in a half since 1986 as Kansas State limited Savannah State to 4.3 percent.
ETSU received balanced scoring as four players finished in double figures with junior forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) collecting his seventh double-double of the year after registering 12 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) recorded four of the Bucs’ five three-point field goals en route to totaling 12 points and six rebounds, while sophomore guard Bo Hodges (Nashville, Tenn.) and sophomore forward Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) each scored 11 points. Freshman guard Daivien Williamson (Winston-Salem, N.C.) tallied eight points, six rebounds and five assists in his first collegiate start.
As a team, ETSU, who shot 53 percent in the first half (18-34), finished with a 46 percent clip on the night (31-68), while outscoring the Cowboys 52-12 in the paint and generating 27 bench points. The Blue and Gold turned 14 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points and forced Wyoming – one of the national leaders in fewest turnovers – to cough the ball up a season-high 23 times. ETSU cashed those miscues into 27 points.
With the win, ETSU earned its first-ever victory over Wyoming and moved to 9-4 on the season, while the Cowboys dipped to 3-8.
The game was a tale of two halves as the Bucs lead by 32 points at the break, 43-11.
ETSU scored the first 10 points of the contest and eventually led 24-1 after Hodges converted on an and-one at the 11:06 mark. The Cowboys eventually registered their only field goal when Jake Hendricks hit a three-pointer with 10:32 left in the frame and were held to single digits until the 2:23 mark when Tariq Johnson made a pair of free throws to make it 41-10. The Blue and Gold extended their margin to 33 and held Wyoming to the fewest points by a Buccaneer team since limiting Western Carolina to 12 back on Feb. 25, 2017.
After missing 25 of its 26 shots in the first half, Wyoming heated up in the second as they started the first seven minutes on a 22-8 run to cut its deficit to 18, 51-33. Hunter Thompson ignited the run as he hit four threes during the spurt and eventually made his first seven triples, which made it an 11-point contest at 59-48 with 7:36 remaining.
The Bucs then turned to the three ball to stop the surge as Kevon Tucker (Dacula, Ga.) and Good hit back-to-back from beyond the arc, making it 65-48 with 6:05 showing on the clock. The back-to-back threes proved to be the dagger as Wyoming never inched closer and ETSU secured the non-conference win.
Wyoming’s Justin James entered the night averaging 24.5 points and was held to eight points on 3-of-21 shooting, while Thompson scored a game-high 25 points on 7-of-8 shooting from three. The Cowboys made 15 field goals in the second half and finished the game 16-of-52 (31 percent), while they were outrebounded, 48 to 34.
The Bucs will now face the winner of UTEP-Norfolk State in the championship game on Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball link.