|January 05, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||UTC||ETSU|
|FG Percentage||.424 (25-59)||.610 (36-59)|
|3P FG Percentage||.304 (7-23)||.500 (9-18)|
|FT Percentage||.684 (13-19)||.750 (15-20)|
- 19||Tray Boyd III
- 6||Mladen Armus
Donovann Toatley - 2
David Jean-Baptiste - 2
- 3||Jeromy Rodriguez
Kevon Tucker - 2
- 2||Lucas N'Guessan
Mladen Armus - 2
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 5, 2019) -- On a day when ETSU men’s basketball honored Buccaneer legend Greg Dennis, the Blue and Gold had some fun dismantling their in-state rival.
The Bucs cruised to their fifth straight win and ninth consecutive at home as ETSU downed Chattanooga 96-70 in front of 5,011 fans on Saturday afternoon inside Freedom Hall.
After celebrating Dennis’ number 11 jersey being retired in the rafters during a pregame ceremony, the highlights started early for the Blue and Gold. The Bucs came out hitting on 13 of their first 17 shots en route to shooting 61 percent (36-59) for the contest, while finishing with a season-high 22 assists. ETSU also hit on a 50 percent clip from beyond the arc (9-18) and went 75 percent at the free throw line (15-20).
In a game where 12 different players reached the scoring column, four finished in double figures with junior guard Tray Boyd III (Memphis, Tenn.) pacing the Blue and Gold for the second straight game. Boyd went 7-of-9 from the field (4-for-5 from three) to total a game-high 19 points, while Bo Hodges (Nashville, Tenn.) tied a season-high with 15 points. Hodges also added five rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard Daivien Williamson (Winston-Salem, N.C.), who scored the first five points of the game, ended with 11 and junior center Lucas N’Guessan (De Lier, Netherlands) collected 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes. Sophomore Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) accounted for 10 of ETSU’s 37 rebounds and also pitched in with eight points and two blocks.
ETSU completed its homestand with three straight wins and improved to 13-4, 3-1, while its 9-0 home record is its best start since the 2003-04 team went 12-0 on the season. Saturday also marked the sixth straight win over Chattanooga, which matches the Bucs’ longest win streak over their rival – ETSU also won six straight from 1978-1981.
The Blue and Gold led for all but 59 seconds of the contest and the momentum quickly shifted when ETSU scored 16 straight points over a three-minute stretch to open a 31-16 lead after Boyd found Hodges for a lay-up at the 9:57 mark of the first half. The Mocs pulled within eight with 3:23 remaining, but the Bucs exploded again by scoring 11 of the final 12 points of the half to take an 18-point lead into the break, 52-34.
Hodges and Williamson combined for 21 points in the first half, while ETSU shot 61 percent (19-31) in the opening stanza.
The second half began just as the first half ended as ETSU extended its overall run to 15-2 and led 56-35 with 17:40 remaining in the contest. The Bucs’ lead eventually soared over 30 when Boyd converted on an old-fashion three-point-play to make it 79-48 at the 9:31 mark. With the rout on, ETSU recorded a 7-0 run to make it 88-56 when Williamson hit Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) for a three-pointer with less than six minutes to play, while the largest lead expanded to 33 (96-63) after Tre Tiller (Chattanooga, Tenn.) found James Harrison (Dallas, Texas) for a lay-up in the closing minutes.
For the game, ETSU totaled 48 points in the paint and outscored the Mocs 15-2 in fast-break scoring, while the Bucs’ bench pitched in with 47 points.
Over the three-game homestand, the Blue and Gold averaged 85.3 points and won by an average of 19.3 points. The Bucs shot 54 percent (97-179) in the wins over Furman, Samford and Chattanooga, while totaling 44 percent of their scoring in the paint (132 points) and 38 percent from the bench (113).
Chattanooga shot 42 percent for the game (25-59), but the Mocs were held to 30 percent from three-point range (7-23) and surrendered 13 turnovers, resulting in 22 points for the Bucs.
Donovann Toatley went 8-of-14 from the field to finish with 19 points, while Keven Easley hit three of the Mocs’ seven threes en route to adding 15 points.
The Bucs will now hit the road for the first time in 2019 as ETSU heads to Charleston, S.C. to take on The Citadel on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball link.