|January 17, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||VMI||ETSU|
|FG Percentage||.484 (30-62)||.554 (36-65)|
|3P FG Percentage||.333 (10-30)||.313 (5-16)|
|FT Percentage||.800 (12-15)||.667 (8-12)|
- 25||Daivien Williamson
- 9||Mladen Armus
Jeromy Rodriguez - 8
- 6||Patrick Good
- 2||Tray Boyd III
- 2||Lucas N'Guessan
Bo Hodges - 2
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 17, 2019) -- Freshman Daivien Williamson (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and sophomore Bo Hodges (Nashville, Tenn.) combined for 40 points, while sophomore Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) came up with a game-clinching block at the buzzer to help carry ETSU men’s basketball to an 85-82 win over VMI on Thursday night inside Freedom Hall.
Williamson, who was 9-of-12 from the field, netted a team-high 23 points and Hodges added a season-best 17 points to help move the Blue and Gold past the upset-minded Keydets. Junior Tray Boyd III (Memphis, Tenn.) pitched in with 13 points; however, Armus came through with the biggest play of the night when he blocked sophomore guard Bubba Parham’s three-point shot at the buzzer to secure the win. Armus finished with eight points (4-of-6 shooting), eight rebounds and the one block.
With the win, ETSU improved to 16-4, 6-1, while VMI dropped to 6-12, 0-6. The Bucs extended their overall win streak to eight straight games, while improving to 10-0 at home – its best start since the 2003-04 team went 12-0 home that year. The Blue and Gold have also won the last seven and 17 of the last 18 meetings against VMI.
Despite leading by as many as 21 points midway through the first half and by 14 at the break, ETSU couldn’t put away the Keydets in the second half.
After the Bucs made the first bucket of the second half on a fast break lay-up by Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic), VMI then mounted a 15-3 run over the next four minutes to pull within four, 52-48 with 14:51 remaining.
ETSU answered with six straight points to go back up 10 and the brief spurt looked to have given momentum back to the Buccaneers.
The Bucs kept their lead around double digits for the next eight minutes; however, Parham got hot and VMI rallied back.
With less than five minutes to play ETSU led by 12, but Parham hit three, three-pointers over a two-minute span to make it an 81-78 score with 2:47 showing on the clock.
Both teams traded baskets down the stretch, but after Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 13 seconds left, VMI grabbed the defensive rebound and had its chance to tie the game. However, after getting the ball in Parham’s hands, Armus stepped up to block the game-tying attempt at the buzzer.
For the game, ETSU shot 55 percent (36-65) and nearly doubled up the Keydets in points in the paint – 60 to 32. VMI doubled up the Bucs in three-pointers, 10 to 5, while ETSU only out-rebounded the Keydets by six, 36 to 30. VMI shot 56 percent in the second half and finished 48 percent (30-62) on the night.
Parham, the SoCon’s leading scorer, finished with a game-high 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting (5-of-11 from three). Myles Lewis posted 17 points and nine rebounds, while Jake Stephens added 10 points and five rebounds.
The Bucs now gear up to host reigning SoCon champion UNCG on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. inside Freedom Hall. The game is a “Gold Out” so fans are encouraged to wear their gold Buccaneer apparel.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball link.