|January 12, 2019||1st||2nd||1OT||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||MER|
|FG Percentage||.386 (27-70)||.469 (23-49)|
|3P FG Percentage||.250 (7-28)||.348 (8-23)|
|FT Percentage||.917 (11-12)||.667 (14-21)|
- 20||Ross Cummings
- 18||Jaylen Stowe
- 3||Marcus Cohen
Patrick Good - 2
Lucas N'Guessan - 1
Mladen Armus - 1
MACON, Ga. (Jan. 11, 2019) -- Fresh off its 25-point win at The Citadel, the ETSU men’s basketball team looks to carry the momentum into its second leg of the Southern Conference road swing as the Buccaneers take on Mercer Saturday in Macon, Ga. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. inside Hawkins Arena.
ABOUT THE BUCS
LAST TIME OUT
The Bucs scored 24 of the first 27 points to open the second half and totaled 60 points overall in the final 20 minutes as ETSU cruised to a 98-73 win over The Citadel on Thursday night in Charleston, S.C. … Freshman guard Daivien Williamson (Winston-Salem, N.C.) set career highs in points (24), field goals made (9), three-point field goals made (4) and minutes played (31), while junior forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) posted his 10th double-double of the year … Rodriguez finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds in the win … As a team, the Blue and Gold set season highs in assists (24), three-pointers made (14) and blocks (7), while making 40 field goals for the second time this season … ETSU was plus-19 in rebounding (50-31), and held the Bulldogs to 24 points below their season average and second-lowest point total on the year.
BUCS OFF TO ANOTHER STRONG START
ETSU – who enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 14-4 and a 4-1 mark in SoCon play – made history in Thursday’s win at The Citadel … The Bucs have opened the season winning 14 of their first 18 games for the third consecutive year, marking the first time in program history this feat has been accomplished.
ETSU carries a six-game win streak into Saturday’s game as the Bucs have defeated Wyoming, Norfolk State, Furman, Samford, Chattanooga and The Citadel during this run … During this streak, the Blue and Gold are winning by over 22 points per game (86.5 to 64.2), while shooting 53 percent (198-375) from the field and holding a +14.8 rebound margin (43.2 to 28.3) … Tray Boyd III (Memphis, Tenn.) is averaging 13.8 points per game, while Jeromy Rodriguez is posting a double-double (11.2 points/11.5 rebounds) and Daivien Williamson is adding 13.3 points and shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc (10-22) … The Buccaneer defense is limiting the opposition to a 38 percent field goal clip (133-351), along with forcing over 15 turnovers per game … ETSU is averaging 22.5 points off turnovers, while averaging 44 points in the paint and 37 points from the bench.
FAST STARTS FUEL WIN STREAK
Despite putting up a season-high 60 points in the second half in Thursday’s win against the Bulldogs, the Bucs have used fast starts to fuel their run during this six-game win streak … Throughout this run, ETSU is +97 in scoring during the first half (+16.2 scoring margin) ... In addition, the Bucs are shooting 55 percent in the first half over these last six games, while holding the opposition to a 33 percent clip and a 29 percent mark from beyond the arc … Daivien Williamson, who his shooting 60 percent in the first half during this stretch, is averaging 8.5 points in the first half, while also scoring the Bucs’ first field goal in each of the last three games.
Since the start of the 2015-16 season, ETSU has totaled 90 wins during this span, which tops all SoCon teams … The Bucs have an eight-win advantage over the second-best team in UNCG during this run … ETSU has registered three straight 20-plus win seasons since the arrival of head coach Steve Forbes, which is just the fourth time in program history this feat has been accomplished … Should the Blue and Gold post 20 wins this year it would be only the third time in program history ETSU has totaled four consecutive 20-plus win seasons – 1950-51 – 1953-54 and 1988-89 – 1991-92.
ETSU CRACKS THE MID-MAJOR TOP-25 POLL
ETSU comes into Saturday’s game ranked No. 14 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll … The Bucs made their season debut in the poll earlier this week as the updated rankings were announced on Monday … ETSU, who stands at 14-4 overall and 4-1 in the Southern Conference, made the largest jump of any team in the poll as ETSU went from being unranked to No. 14 this week … ETSU is one of three SoCon teams ranked in the top 15.
ETSU leads the country in total rebounds (773) and rebound margin (14.1) … In addition to leading the country in rebounding, the Bucs also rank in the top 50 nationally in several other statistical categories – seventh in total assists (293), eighth in rebounds per game (42.9), 18th in scoring margin (15.6), 19th in offensive rebounds per game (13.6), 22nd in defensive rebounds per game (29.3), 30th in field goal percentage (48.9), 31st in total steals (133), 32nd in total three-pointers made (154), 40th in assists per game (16.3), 44th in scoring defense (65.3), and 47th in field goal percentage defense (39.9) and scoring offense (80.9).
Individually, Jeromy Rodriguez leads all Division I players in total rebounds (212), while ranking fourth in rebounds per game (11.8), sixth in double-doubles (10) and in defensive rebounds per game (8.2), and 15th in offensive rebounds per game (3.6) … Rodriguez is also only one of nine Division I players to be averaging double digits in scoring (11.4) and rebounding (11.6), along with averaging over two assists per game (2.4).
Sophomore forward Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) ranks 30th in total rebounds (147), sophomore guard Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) ranks 34th in three-point field goals made (49) and junior guard Isaiah Tisdale (Lexington, Ky.) is 37th in assist to turnover ratio (2.95).
SHARING THE ROCK
ETSU has gone back-to-back games with recording over 20 assists as the Bucs finished with 22 against Chattanooga on Jan. 5 and totaled a season-high 24 against The Citadel on Thursday … The last time the Blue and Gold combined for over 46 assists in back-to-back games was on Feb. 22-24, 2007 when the Bucs totaled 55 assists in wins over Stetson (26) and Mercer (29) … The last time ETSU had consecutive games with 20 or more assists was Nov. 18-22, 2014 when the Bucs had 25 assists against UVA Wise and 20 versus Asheville.
WILLIAMSON EMBRACING NEW ROLE
Since being inserted into the Buccaneer starting lineup on Dec. 21, freshman guard Daivien Williamson has done a phenomenal job in his new role … Williamson is averaging 13.3 points, 2.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds over the last five games in which he has started, while the Blue and Gold are also 6-0 in those contests … Williamson has scored double figures in four of those games, while adding a 1.6 assist to turnover ratio … The freshman guard is coming off a career-high 24-point effort in Thursday’s win over The Citadel, while he’s shooting 52 percent (30-58) from the field, 46 percent from three (10-22) and 91 percent at the free throw line (10-11) over this six-game stretch.
BUCCANEER BIGS BLOWING UP
ETSU’s big three of Jeromy Rodriguez, Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) and Lucas N’Guessan (De Lier, Netherlands) have been a force to be reckoned with over the last four games … In the wins over Furman, Samford, Chattanooga and The Citadel, the Buccaneer trio have combined for 112 points and 107 rebounds, while shooting a blistering 72 percent (47-65) … The three post players have accounted for 64 percent of the Bucs’ rebounding and 34 percent of their made field goals during this run.
BUCS CONTINUE ON 3-POINT STREAK LIST
Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 981 consecutive games ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game ... The Bucs currently rank as the sixth longest streak in the NCAA, with UNLV topping the list.
NEW FACES EQUALS SAME RESULTS
According to Kenpom.com, the Bucs rank ninth among NCAA Division I teams in percentage of returning minutes from last season at 15.8 percent ... Mount St. Mary’s tops the country by only returning 6.6 percent; however, the ETSU is only one of two teams in the top 10 to post a winning record this season at 13-4 ... UC Santa Barbara is 10th at 16 percent and sits at 11-3.
Mercer (6-10, 1-3) is coming off an 84-80 win over Western Carolina on Thursday night in Macon, Ga. … The Bears shot 56 percent and made nine three-pointers to pull off the comeback win … Mercer used a 17-0 run second-half run to overcome a six-point halftime deficit … Junior guard Ross Cummings scored a career-high 36 points on 12-of-19 shooting (7-for-11 from three), while senior guard Jaylen Stowe added 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals … Mercer scored 21 points off 17 Catamount turnovers and outscored Western Carolina 13-0 in fast-break points.
Cummings leads the team in scoring (16.2), field goals made (78), three-pointers made (53) and free throws made (50), while three other Mercer players are also averaging double-digits in scoring – guard Djordje Dimitrijevic (11.9 ppg), Stowe (10.6) and guard Ethan Stair (10.3).
The Bears are averaging 73.9 points per game and shooting 46 percent, while they are allowing 69.6 points and opponents are shooting 43 percent.
Mercer, who snapped a three-game losing streak on Thursday, has won six of its seven games inside Hawkins Arena this season.
Over the past 10-plus seasons, Mercer has won 204 games, making the Bears the winningest Division I men’s basketball program in the state of Georgia.
The Bears have 10 newcomers on this year’s roster, including eight freshmen after graduating senior starters Stephon Jelks, Jordan Strawberry and Demetre Rivers last year … All three of those seniors were 1,000-point scorers for the Bears.
The Bucs lead the all-time series 21-8 and have won the last eight meetings … During this eight-game win streak, ETSU is averaging 76 points per game and the average margin of victory is by 10 points per contest … Five of the eight games during this run have been decided by nine points or less, including two by three points or fewer.
Over the all-time series, which began with a 65-58 Buccaneer victory back in 1971, 17 games have been decided by nine points or less and five by three points or less … The Bucs are 5-0 in the games decided by three points or fewer and are 12-5 in the games decided by nine points or less.
ETSU has won its last three games inside Hawkins Arena and is 8-5 all-time in games played against Mercer in Macon.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on ESPN3; CLICK HERE FOR LIVE VIDEO
Fans can also tune into “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos on the radio call via WXSM-AM 640 beginning with the Atmos Energy Pregame Show at 4 p.m.; CLICK HERE FOR LIVE AUDIO
Live stats will also be provided via MercerBears… Fans can access live stats on their computers or mobile devices by clicking here
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball link.