Bucs rally late, but Tennessee Tech holds on, 65-62
Senior guard Sheldon Cooley scored 17 points and had an opportunity to tie the game at the buzzer.
Bucs rally late, but Tennessee Tech holds on, 65-62
Saturday, November 17, 2012

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 17, 2012) – Trailing Tennessee Tech by 13 points late in the second half, the ETSU men’s basketball team rallied to get within two with 14 seconds remaining, but a game-tying 3-point attempt by Buccaneers’ senior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) missed the mark as time expired and the Golden Eagles escaped the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center with a 65-62 victory Saturday afternoon in non-conference basketball action.

With the loss, ETSU dropped to 0-2 on the season, while Tennessee Tech improved to 3-0 on the year.

“It was a tough loss,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “But I think that’s just the way it’s going to be for us right now. We have a young team and we’re learning. There are things we obviously need to improve on and we’re working on those things. We’re having good practices and these guys understand it’s a process for us right now.”

ETSU got a team-high 19 points from senior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.), while Cooley netted 17 in the loss. Meanwhile, junior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) pitched in 14 points and seven rebounds, and redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) had 12.

For Tennessee Tech, guard Jud Dillard led the way with a game-high 25 points and grabbed a double-double with 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, guard Jeremia Samarrippas and forward Dennis Ogbe pitched in 11 points apiece.

The Bucs once again showed flashes of the talent and potential they have, putting together a 14-0 offensive run in the first half to take a 24-17 lead with just under eight minutes left in the half. Tech rebounded at that point and managed to cut their deficit to three at 29-26 at the break.

In the second half, ETSU struggled for the first 15 minutes of play and looked on as Tech held a lead of more than 10 points for much of the second half. The Golden Eagles shot a strong 65 percent from the floor in the second half and we’re an equally impressive 53 percent from the floor for the game, however ETSU did manage to outscore the Golden Eagles 18-8 to end the game and make for an exciting finish.

Tech out-rebounded the Bucs 34-26 on the night and ETSU shot just 39 percent from the floor. The Bucs did improve at the foul line compared to their season opener last week at Virginia Tech, shooting 82.4 percent from the charity stripe.

The Bucs will return to action Tuesday at Charleston Southern. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com.