January 25, 20231st2nd1OT Final
Stats at a GlanceETSUMercer
FG Percentage.375 (21-56) .397 (27-68)
3P FG Percentage.333 (5-15) .267 (4-15)
FT Percentage.606 (20-33) .650 (13-20)
Offensive Rebounds1014
Defensive Rebounds3027
Total Rebounds4041
Bench Points1533
PointsHaynes - 27
McCreary - 26
ReboundsHaynes - 8
Seymour - 8
McCreary - 7
AssistsKing - 3
Walker Jr. - 2
StealsStrothers - 3
Walker Jr. - 2
BlocksHaynes - 4
Grant - 2
Missed free throws, turnovers haunt Bucs in overtime loss at Mercer
Missed free throws, turnovers haunt Bucs in overtime loss at Mercer
Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Haynes pours in career-high 27 points

MACON, Ga. (Jan. 25, 2023) – For the first time this season, ETSU men’s basketball suffered a road loss in conference play. 

Despite holding Mercer scoreless for the final six minutes of the second half, and Jamarius Hairston (Salisbury, N.C.) making game-tying free throws with 6.2 seconds left in regulation, the Buccaneers couldn’t carry momentum into overtime. The Bears scored the first four points of the extra stanza and held on for a 71-67 win over ETSU on Wednesday night inside Hawkins Arena.    


  • The Bucs, who had won their last six conference road games, dipped to 8-14 overall and 4-5 in SoCon play. Mercer swept the regular season series en route to improving to 10-12 overall and 3-6 in league play.
  • Free throw shooting, turnovers and rebounding cost the Bucs as ETSU went 20-of-33 at the charity stripe and surrendered 14 offensive rebounds (11 coming in the second half and overtime) where Mercer converted those into 10 second-chance points.
  • Turnovers also proved to be problematic for the Blue and Gold as they coughed the ball up 16 times, resulting in 12 points for the Bears.
  • For the game, ETSU shot 38 percent (21-56) and was 5-of-15 from beyond the arc, compared to Mercer finishing 40 percent (27-68) and 4-for-15 from long distance. The Bears knocked down 13 of their 20 free throw attempts.
  • ETSU was outrebounded for the sixth time this season as Mercer was plus-one on the glass, 41-40.
  • After outscoring Mercer 32-27 in the first half, ETSU was outscored by the same score in the second half. The Bears won overtime, 12-8. 


  • Jalen Haynes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) scored a career-high 27 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots. Haynes was 9-of-16 from the field and 9-for-12 at the free throw line.
  • Jaden Seymour (Charlotte, N.C.) added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Hairston recorded eight points and five rebounds off the bench.
  • Mercer was led by Jalyn McCreary as he netted 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting off the bench. 


The first half featured five ties and six lead changes, but ETSU scored the final five points to take a 32-27 lead into halftime. 

The Blue and Gold jumped out to an early 8-3 advantage thanks to King and Haynes providing the Buccaneer scoring; however, Mercer hit back-to-back threes to take its first lead of the night, 9-8 at the 14:21 mark. The Bears eventually pushed their lead to three, but Braden Ilic (Morristown, Tenn.) caught fire to put ETSU back ahead. 

The freshman forward scored seven straight points as he netted a pair of jumpers followed by ETSU’s first triple of the night, making it an 18-14 score with just under 11 minutes left in the stanza. From there, neither team led by as many as four points until the Bucs rattled off the last five en route to taking the five-point lead into the break. 

With the game knotted at 27, Hairston ignited the run with his first made three of the night, while his offensive rebound on the Bucs’ final possession of the half led to Allen Strothers (Newport News, Va.) making two free throws in the final seconds. 

The Bucs pushed their lead to seven in the opening seconds of the second half and led for the first seven minutes of the frame, but a jumper by McCreary put Mercer ahead 44-43 at the 13-minute mark. The Bears never trailed for the remainder of the night as they pushed the lead to six on three different possessions – the final being 59-53 with 6:08 left in regulation. 

ETSU then clamped down and held the Bears scoreless for the remainder of the half to pull even at 59. 

Prior to Hairston hitting the game-tying free throws in the closing seconds, ETSU had two different possessions where they could’ve taken the lead or tied the game; however, the Bucs came up empty. 

Mercer was unable to put the game away in regulation as Jah Quinones missed the front end of the 1-and-1 with 14 seconds left, while Shannon Grant then grabbed the offensive rebound and missed the lay-up. Unfortunately, both Haynes and Seymour went after the rebound and Mercer regained possession with the ball falling out of bounds. Again, ETSU was forced to foul and the Bears couldn’t convert at the line, allowing Hairston to grab the rebound and was fouled on the play. 

Hairston made the first – and following a brief stoppage of play to review the correct shooter being sent to the charity stripe – Hairston calmly sank the second to tie the game. With 6.2 ticks left, Mercer had a chance to win it at the buzzer but Shawn Walker Jr. missed a jumper as time expired, sending the game into overtime. 

In overtime, the Bears won the tip and jumped out to a four-point lead after getting fouled on their first two possessions. After James Glisson made four free throws to open the stanza, Haynes finally got the Bucs on the board in overtime by netting a jumper, making it 63-61 with 3:51 remaining. Haynes was fouled on the play but missed the freebie – and after ETSU got a defensive stop on the ensuing possession – the Blue and Gold came down and missed a lay-up at the 2:42 mark. 

Again, Mercer went back up by four, but the Bucs fought back as Hairston’s three-pointer with 1:51 left pulled ETSU within one, 65-64. On the Bears’ next trip down, they grabbed two offensive rebounds and McCreary answered again with a second-chance lay-up. Following an ETSU turnover, Mercer went up by five on another McCreary bucket, and after Seymour connected on a three with less than 20 seconds left, the Bucs couldn’t inch any closer. 


ETSU heads back home to take on Chattanooga on Saturday at 4 p.m. inside Freedom Hall.

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