December 17, 20221st2ndFinal
UNC Asheville383674
Stats at a GlanceAVLETSU
FG Percentage.509 (27-53) .474 (27-57)
3P FG Percentage.368 (7-19) .385 (5-13)
FT Percentage.684 (13-19) .875 (14-16)
Offensive Rebounds1013
Defensive Rebounds1919
Total Rebounds2932
Bench Points1534
PointsBattle - 21
Smith - 15
ReboundsPember - 12
Seymour - 12
AssistsPember - 4
King - 4
StealsBattle - 4
Tipler - 3
BlocksPember - 5
Haynes - 1
Jancek - 1
Seymour - 1
Bucs dealt heart-breaking loss by UNC Asheville at the buzzer, 74-73
Bucs dealt heart-breaking loss by UNC Asheville at the buzzer, 74-73
Saturday, December 17, 2022

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 17, 2022) – Erasing an 11-point deficit in the final nine minutes and leading by three with less than five seconds left to play, it looked like ETSU men’s basketball was prime to snap its losing streak. 

However, UNC Asheville made play after play in closing seconds to rally for the win, as Big South Conference Preseason Player of the Year Drew Pember made a 30-foot contested three-pointer from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded, and the Bucs suffered a heart-breaking 74-73 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday evening inside freedom Hall.  


  • ETSU was dealt its fourth straight defeat – matching its longest non-conference losing streak since the 2015-16 season – as the Bucs fell to 4-8 on the season. With the win, UNC Asheville improved to 8-4.
  • Both teams made 27 field goals with ETSU shooting 47 percent from the field, compared to the Bulldogs hitting at a 51-percent clip. The Bulldogs hit two more from long distance – netting seven triples to ETSU’s five.
  • The Bucs were solid at the free throw line, going 14-of-16, while UNC Asheville was 13-for-19.
  • ETSU scored 24 points off 19 Bulldog turnovers, while also holding the upper edge in points in the paint (40-36), points in transition (20-16) and bench scoring (34-15).
  • Despite out-rebounding UNCA 32-29, the Bulldogs were plus-one in second-chance points, including the game-winner coming off a second and third-chance opportunity. 


  • Four Bucs scored in double figures with Justice Smith (Lyons, N.Y.) – who made his first start as a Buccaneer – posting 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Smith was also 6-of-6 at the free throw line.
  • DeAnthony Tipler (Ashland, Miss.) and Jaden Seymour (Charlotte, N.C.) accounted for 25 points off the bench. Tipler finished with 14 points, while Seymour added 11 points and 12 rebounds first his second collegiate double-double.
  • Jalen Haynes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) registered 13 points and five rebounds.
  • UNC Asheville was led by Jamon Battle’s 21 points, while Pember posted a double-double as he ended with 13 points and 12 rebounds. 


First Half

ETSU led early but then the Bulldogs used a 6-0 a run to go ahead 13-9 following a pair of free throws by Pember at the 13:58 mark. The Bucs were able to pull even at 21-21 and 23-23, but never got back over the hump for the remainder of the half. UNC Asheville eventually built a seven-point lead (32-25) and took a 38-34 advantage into halftime. 

Both teams netted 13 field goals in the opening 20 minutes with ETSU shooting 45 percent from the floor and Asheville hitting 50 percent of its shots. Tipler led the Bucs with nine points, while Battle and Alex Caldwell each had nine points for the Bulldogs. 

Second Half

The Bulldogs came out of the locker room on fire as they hit their first three shots – two coming from three-point range – and built a 46-36 lead in the opening minute and 28 seconds. 

Over the next two-plus minutes, ETSU answered with a 9-2 run to pull within three, but the Bulldogs countered and took their largest lead of the night at 62-51 following a dunk by Nick McMullen with 9:38 remaining. 

Again, the Blue and Gold rallied and flexed their muscle by mounting a 14-2 surge to go ahead 65-64 thanks to a pair of free throws by Jordan King (Albany, N.Y.) with 4:40 showing on the clock. 

The lead shifted hands five times in that closing stretch with the Bucs building a pair of three-point advantages at 71-68 and then 73-70. 

However, with ETSU ahead by three with eight seconds to play, the Bucs decided to foul, putting Trent Stephney at the free throw line for the one-and-one with 4.4 ticks remaining. Stephney hit the first and missed the second, and after both teams went off the loose ball, the Bulldogs kept possession after the Bucs knocked the ball out of bounds with 2.9 seconds left. 

On the inbounds play, UNC Asheville got the ball to Pember as he cut to the hoop, but Haynes was there to meet him to block the shot, resulting in the ball going back out of play underneath the Bulldogs’ basket with 1.2 left. 

With another opportunity, UNC Asheville capitalized as Battle tossed the ball over the Buccaneer defense, Pember grabbed the ball near the “U” of the ETSU logo and hit the contested deep three over former Tennessee teammate Brock Jancek (Knoxville, Tenn.) as time expired for his second three-pointer of the night. 


The Bucs head to Baton Rouge to close out non-conference play next Wednesday at LSU. Game time is set for 8 p.m. ET inside the Maravich Center. 

For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit and click on the men’s basketball page.