SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 28, 2014) – Taking two distinctly different approaches Friday night, the ETSU men’s basketball team’s outside shooting was unable to overcome USC Upstate’s inside game, as the Buccaneers dropped an all-important Atlantic Sun Conference matchup 79-73 at the G.B. Hodge Center.
In a game that was to determine third place in the league standings, the loss drops the Buccaneers to 17-14 overall, 10-8 in A-Sun action. ETSU must now await the results of Saturday’s league play to see if it will finish fourth in the standings and host a conference tournament quarterfinal game on Tuesday, March 4. Meanwhile, Upstate finishes third at 18-13, 11-7 on the year.
For the game, Upstate forward Ricardo Glenn led the way with a double-double effort thanks to 24 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, the Spartans outscored the Bucs 44-12 in the paint and held a 12-4 advantage in second-chance points. Meanwhile, ETSU hit 13 3-pointers for the contest, and junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) paced the team with a career high 33 points on 8-of-14 shooting from 3-point range.
“It’s was a tough game in a tough environment, and it’s a disappointing loss,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “We fought hard and were down just two with 45 seconds left, but we didn’t play well late in the game. Credit Rashawn for playing great tonight, but USC Upstate has a really good basketball team and they just made more plays. Ricardo Glenn just killed. He’s a tough matchup.”
Hitting seven 3-pointers before the break, the Bucs led by as many as seven in the first half and ultimately held a 37-34 advantage at the intermission. Rembert had 13 points in the first 20 minutes, as the Spartans and Bucs were unable to get a great deal of separation from each other on the scoreboard.
After the break, the Bucs continued to hit from beyond the arc, while the Spartans remained content to score in the paint. The strategy paid off for Upstate, which overcame the halftime deficit and actually tied the game at 56-56. From there, the Spartans used a 19-7 run to take a 12-point lead at 75-63 with just two minutes remaining.
The Bucs did not quit, however, taking advantage of Upstate’s poor free throw shooting and rallying with its fullcourt press to make it 75-73 on a Rembert 3-pointer with 45 seconds left. Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Bucs would get as the Spartans went 4-of-6 from the line the rest of the way.
Along with Glenn’s efforts, the Spartans also got double-digit scoring from Jodd Maxey and Torrey Craig with 19 and 10 points, respectively. Meanwhile, ETSU forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) netted 12 points with four made 3-pointers.
ETSU will be back on the court Tuesday night in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, but will not know the site or opponent for that game until Saturday evening.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the postseason, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.