|January 11, 2020||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||VMI||ETSU|
|FG Percentage||.396 (19-48)||.346 (18-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.333 (7-21)||.250 (5-20)|
|FT Percentage||.909 (10-11)||.645 (20-31)|
Parham - 3
Parham - 1
Miller - 1
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 10, 2020) -- Following its wild comeback win at UNCG on Wednesday, ETSU men’s basketball returns home to host VMI in its annual Star Wars game on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. inside Freedom Hall.
STAR WARS GAME
ETSU Athletics has built a partnership with Lucasfilm and the Canon Character Group – the 501st Legion – to support a philanthropy within the Tri-Cities. This year, Lucasfilm and ETSU have teamed with Children Exceeding Expectations (CEE), and they have been invited to Saturday’s game.
CEE is a program of the Junior League of Kingsport, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is a free school exclusively for kids ages 3-12 with cancer and immune deficiency disorders.
For more information on CEE or how to donate, please visit www.childrenexceedingexpectations.com or check them out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/childrenexceedingexpectations/.
To help raise money for CEE, there will be a silent auction during Saturday’s game where items such as exclusive ETSU Nike merchandise, handcrafted ETSU cornhole boards, autographed memorabilia from former ETSU basketball standout and current Harlem Globetrotter AJ Merriweather, and other priceless ETSU items and experiences will be present to bid on. Two auction sites will be set up inside Freedom Hall – one located inside the Courtside Club and one adjacent the main entrance of the arena inside the concourse. All of the money raised in the auction will be donated to CEE.
Fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Star Wars character on Saturday as over 30 members of the 501st Legion will be in costume inside Freedom Hall. Following the game, the Star Wars characters will be available for a postgame photo session on the court.
Fans can purchase tickets online by clicking here or by calling the ETSU Ticket Office at 423-439-3878… Single-game tickets start at $10.
Southern Conference Packs are still available starting at $70 and can be purchased here
Saturday’s game will be televised locally on ABC Tri-Cities as well as streamed live on ESPN3 with Pete Yanity and Mark Matheny on the call; CLICK HERE FOR LIVE VIDEO
“Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos will have the radio call on WXSM-AM 640 beginning with the Atmos Energy Pregame Show at 3:30 p.m.; CLICK HERE FOR LIVE AUDIO
Live stats will also be provided via StatBroadcast… Fans can access live stats on their computers or mobile devices by clicking here
LAST TIME OUT
GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 8, 2020) – ETSU and UNCG have had many close encounters in their history.
Wednesday night’s first meeting of the season did not disappoint.
Trailing 57-55 with 2:33 remaining, the Buccaneers closed the game on a 9-0 run to secure a 64-57 win inside the Greensboro Coliseum.
The game was in the balance in the final minute as Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) made one of his two free throw attempts to put ETSU ahead by one with 38 seconds to play.
However, things quickly escalated on the Spartans’ ensuing possession.
Senior guard Isaiah Tisdale (Lexington, Ky.) stepped up to take a charge on Southern Conference Preseason Player of the Year Isaiah Miller. Following UNCG’s offensive foul and turnover, ETSU called timeout and that’s when the Spartans lost composure.
UNCG head coach Wes Miller slammed his clipboard on the court, resulting in a technical foul. The tension continued to rise after Tray Boyd III (Memphis, Tenn.) made one of the two free throw attempts as Miller collected his second technical, which forced him to be ejected from the game. Good then stepped to the charity stripe to knock down a pair of free throws, extending ETSU’s lead to four, 61-57, still with 23 seconds left. The Bucs made three of their final four free throws in the closing seconds to cap off the seven-point comeback win.
Three Bucs scored in double figures with Joe Hugley (Gaithersburg, Md.) finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds – both marking season highs. Bo Hodges (Nashville, Tenn.), who collected two fouls in the first four minutes, scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, while also adding six rebounds and four steals. Boyd collected two of the Bucs’ four made threes to net 11 points.
For the game, the Bucs shot 37 percent (17-46) and went 4-of-17 from three (24 percent); however, ETSU got things done at the free throw line. The Blue and Gold shot 79 percent (26-33), while making seven of their last 10 free throws in the final minute. Hodges made all four attempts, Tisdale – who scored eight points and dished out four assists – went 6-of-8, and Good knocked down five of his six to end with nine points. Boyd and Lucas N’Guessan (De Lier, Netherlands) both made three of their four attempts. Despite not having the services of its top rebounder Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic), ETSU still finished plus-9 on the boards, 38-29. The Bucs scored 15 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds.
With the win, ETSU improved to 14-3, 3-1, while it snapped a four-game losing skid to the Spartans and marked the Bucs’ first victory in Greensboro for the first time since Feb. 6, 2016. UNCG, picked second behind ETSU in the preseason rankings, dipped to 12-5, 2-2.
MORE ON UNCG WIN
BUCS OFF TO BEST START IN NEARLY 30 YEARS
Sitting at 14-3 on the season, ETSU is off to its best start since the 1990-91 season when ETSU opened 21-2 en route to claiming the SoCon title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
HOME SWEET HOME
ETSU has gone 60-11 (.845) inside Freedom Hall in the Forbes era, including a 13-3 mark last season and a 9-0 record this year ... The Bucs’ .845 win percentage ranks 25th nationally during this span.
BUCCANEERS AT HOME
In its nine home games this season, ETSU is holding the opposition on to 54.8 points and limiting them to a 24.0 shooting percentage from beyond the arc (43-181) ... The Bucs are averaging 81 points and shooting 48 percent (251-523) from the field and outscoring the opposition on by 168 points in the first half (370-202) ... The Bucs also have a plus-5.9 turnover margin as the Blue and Gold are only averaging 12.0 turnovers with the opposition on turning the ball over 17.9 times per game ... ETSU is also averaging 5.7 blocks per game ... Individually, Tray Boyd III is averaging 15.0 points, while shooting 47 percent from the field (46-98), 39 percent from beyond the arc (23-59) and is 20-of-22 at the free throw line ... Bo Hodges is posting 13.4 points per game in the nine home contests this season, while adding 5.0 rebounds and donning a 57 percent shooting clip (47-83) ... Hodges and Boyd make up 35 percent of the Bucs’ scoring at home as they have accounted for 256 of ETSU’s 729 points.
MORE ON THE HOME DOMINANCE
The Bucs have led wire-to-wire in four of their nine home games, while ETSU’s largest home deficit this season was three points when Delaware State led 3-0, 30 seconds into the contest ... The Bucs have never trailed in the second half at home this season as they were tied at 35 and 58 vs. Winthrop, while the latest ETSU has trailed is the 11:51 mark of the first half vs. Appalachian State (12-11) ... Overall, ETSU has led in 339 of the 360 possible minutes at home (94%).
The Bucs have had a different leading scorer in seven games this season … Against Winthrop, Kansas and NDSU, junior guard Bo Hodges led the Blue and Gold with 17, 22 and 23-point performances … Tray Boyd III led ETSU with 20 points in the season-opening win over Newberry, while leading the Bucs with 22 in the win over Appalachian State … Patrick Good poured in 24 points in the road win at UT-Martin on Nov. 9 … Daivien Williamson scored 17 points vs. Delaware State and 20 at Little Rock, and Lucas N’Guessan netted a career-high 18 against Southern Utah … Jeromy Rodriguez paced the Blue and Gold with a career-high 26-point effort at The Citadel on Dec. 5 … Most recently, Joe Hulgey led the Bucs with 14 points at UNCG … As a team, ETSU has three players averaging double figures scoring with seven players averaging at least seven points per contest … Only three teams have eight players averaging over seven points per game (Ohio State, Grambling and Long Island).
When it comes to the Bucs’ balanced scoring it’s no surprise the Blue and Gold enjoy sharing the ball … Three players rank in the top 15 among SoCon leaders in assists as Isaiah Tisdale ranks seventh (3.1), while Bo Hodges is 11th (2.5) and Daivien Williamson is 13th at 2.4 … The trio have accounted for 137 of ETSU’s 241 assists on the season.
The Bucs are also balanced on the boards as seven different players have led the team in rebounding this season – most-recently Joe Hugley grabbing nine at UNCG … Vonnie Patterson pulled down a season-high 14 vs. Appalachian State … Patrick Good led ETSU with five in the season opener vs. Newberry, Jeromy Rodriguez had 10 in the win at UT-Martin and at Kansas, Bo Hodges had nine vs. Winthrop, while Lucas N’Guessan had eight vs. Delaware State and Isaiah Tisdale also had eight against Southern Utah … Five players have totaled over 50 rebounds this season – Jeromy Rodriguez (118), Bo Hodges (96), Lucas N’Guessan (90), Isaiah Tisdale (62) and Vonnie Patterson (57).
VMI has dropped five straight and enters Saturday at 5-12, 0-4 in SoCon play.
The Keydets have played five games this season have been decided by five points or less; however, VMI has lost four of those five contests.
Freshman guard Travis Evee has recorded five games of scoring 20-plus points, including a 25-point effort in the 78-75 setback to Samford on Jan. 4 … Evee also tied a career high with six made three versus the Bulldogs.
Evee leads the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game, while he and Kamdyn Curfman have accounted for 95 of VMI’s 194 made threes … Curfman leads the team with 48 triples and Evee has netted 47 … Curfman is averaging 11.2 points, while Garrett Gilkeson is posting 11.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Gilkeson ranks sixth nationally in assist/turnover ratio (3.59), while Curman ranks 21st in threes made and Evee is 25th.
As a team, the Keydets rank second nationally in three-pointers made (194), threes attempted (515) and three-point field goals per game (11.4), eighth in total assists (289) and 15th in assist/turnover ratio (1.38).
ETSU, who has won eight meetings and 18 of the last 19, leads the all-time series, 49-14 … The Bucs are 25-5 against VMI in Johnson City, while also winning the last nine meetings … During the nine-game win streak at home, the Bucs are averaging 89.2 points and winning on average of 19 points … Coach Forbes’ teams are 8-0 all-time vs. the Keydets with ETSU averaging 85 points and posting a scoring margin over 20.9 points in those wins … The Bucs’ last home loss to VMI came on Jan. 2, 1999 when ETSU fell 58-55, while VMI’s last win in the series was on Jan. 17, 2015 (85-79) in Lexington.
MORE SERIES NOTES
In the eight games vs. VMI under head coach Steve Forbes, the Bucs are shooting 52 percent (248-474) from the field, 40 percent (69-173) from three and 71 percent at the free throw line (115-162) … Meanwhile, the Keydets are shooting 38 percent (172-457), 34.5 from three (68-197) and 75.4 from the free throw line (101-134) … Last season, ETSU shot 58.4 percent (73-125) in the two wins, while averaging 89.5 points … The Bucs out-rebounded VMI by 10.5 (37.5-27.0) … The Keydets shot 45 percent (54-119) from the field, 39 percent (18-46) from three and 79 percent at the free throw line (26-33), while averaging 76 points in last year’s games … VMI also forced 28 turnovers and held ETSU to 13 made threes in the two contests … Daivien Williamson and Bo Hodges both averaged 21.5 points vs. VMI last year, with Hodges also averaging eight rebounds and 3.5 assists … Hodges totaled 26 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the 94-70 win at VMI, marking his first collegiate double-double … Hodges also held Bubba Parham - who was the league’s leading scorer to zero field goals on 12 attempts … If four career games vs. VMI, Hodges is averaging 16.8 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 56 percent (24-43) … Lucas N’Guessan averaged 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds, while shooting 88 percent (7-8) in two games last season.
ETSU concludes its brief two-game homestand Wednesday night when the Bucs take on Samford at 7 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball tab.