ETSU handles the Mocs in Chattanooga

The Mocs and the Bucs faced off for the 2nd time this season, this time in Chattanooga where the Mocs had only lost twice at so far this year and was trying to avenge a blowout loss to the Bucs in Johnson City. This proved to be no challenge for the Bucs as the won 77-64 to take 7 straight wins versus rival Chattanooga.

ETSU started the game strong jumping out to a quick 10 point lead in the first half. The Bucs then went cold and only scored two points in the last six minutes, fifty-six seconds of the half. This long scoring drought let the Mocs back into the game and they led 33-30 at halftime.

Much like a lot of games this year for the Bucs the 2nd half was a different story. After some back and forth between ETSU and the Chattanooga early in the 2nd half, the Bucs then went of a 14-0 run to gain the lead at 52-42. The Mocs got within 4 not long after, but were unable to get any closer. The Buccaneers then put the game away with 3:11 left thanks to a Mladen Armus dunk, which game ETSU their largest lead of the game at 16.

ETSU dominated the Mocs in the paint by outscoring them 42-16. ETSU also scored 20 points off over turnovers compared to only 1 for the Mocs and shot 93% from the FT line.

The Bucs had 4 guys scoring in double digits including Lucas N’Guessan who scored a career high 14 points and was 6-7 from the field and a perfect 2-2 from the line. ETSU also got a huge game out of Bo Hodges, who led the Bucs in 4 statistical categories. Hodges had 13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a block.

Tisdale finds N’Guessan for the dunk

Wofford

Todays win puts ETSU at 19-5 for the season and 9-2 in conference play and sets up a huge game on Thursday night versus the Wofford Terriers who are 19-4 overall and a perfect 11-0 in conference play. The Bucs and Terriers have already played once this year with Wofford winning by 16 points in Spartanburg.

Wofford lit up Citadel today by hitting twenty 3-point shots and won by 38 points in Charleston. A win against Wofford will take ETSU a long way and put them back into contention for the regular season Socon title.

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Patrick Good breaks school record in win over Western Carolina

Sophomore guard Patrick Good had a record-setting night on Saturday when he broke a school record by hitting 11 3-points in a big win versus Western Carolina. Good was hot all night starting the game at an astonishing 9-10 from the 3-point line. He ended up finished 11-of-17 from beyond the arc and 12-of-18 from the field for a total of 35 points. The 35 points was also a career high for Good.

Patrick Good broke a nearly 10-year old record which had previously been set by ETSU great Courtney Pigram on Feb. 28, 2009. Pat commented in the post game that he knew he was going to have a huge night early in the 2nd half when hit a contested 3-pointer well beyond the NBA line as the shot clock was winding down.

Not only did Patrick Good have a career night but Mladen Armus also had one of the best games of his career. Armus finished with a career-high 21 points (9-of-13 shooting) and grabbed 12 rebounds, while also notching his fourth career double-double.

The Bucs started the game hot with a 17-3 lead early on and never really looked back as the Catamounts could only get as close as 9 points the rest of the game. As a team the Bucs shot well at 55% and Good accounted for 11 of the teams 12 3-pointers. ETSU also forced 21 turnovers which they turned into 38 points. Additionally, the Bucs outscored the Catamounts 44-26 in the paint, including seven dunks.

Highlights from the Bucs win over Western Carolina

Dominance over Western

The ETSU dominance over Western Carolina in basketball continued last night as the Bucs have won 24 of their last 25 over Western Carolina. The Bucs also have not lost in Cullowhee since 1998.

Samford Next

The Bucs will next face Samford in Birmingham. In a game that projects to be a tough matchup for the Bucs. Last time ETSU faced Samford was a few weeks ago in Freedom Hall when Samford came back from 17-points down in the 2nd half to force overtime but later fell to the Bucs in OT. Samford is also coming off a very impressive two game road swing where they led at Wofford for most of the game but later fell by a point in OT thanks to some late game heroics by Fletcher Magee. Then last night the Bulldogs became the first team all year to defeat Furman in Greenville, with a 75-73 victory over the Paladins.

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Hot Shooting Propels ETSU over Citadel 98-73

davien-williamson-etsu

After a somewhat slow start last night, ETSU kicked it up a notch in the 2nd half as they scored 24 of the first 27 points in the 2nd half and poured on a total of 60 points in the final 20 minutes to win in a route over 9-5 Citadel.

The win can be attributed to hot 3-point shooting with the Bucs hitting 14-31 3-points shots, good for 45%.

Freshmen Daivien Williamson had a great scoring night with 24 points in 31 minutes on 4-6 from 3 and 3 rebounds. Isaiah Tisdale scored about as many points per minute (14 points in 17 minutes on 2-2 from 3) but also 5 rebounds, 5 assists to only 2 turnovers,

Jeromy had his usual double/double with 10 points on 5-9, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, only 2 turnovers, a block and 2 steals. N’Guessan played only 13 minutes, but packed them with 8 points on 3-3 and 8 rebounds. Tray Boyd played only 14 minutes, but used them to get 16 points on 6-12 with 4-8 from 3, 2 assists and 2 rebounds.

ETSU improved to 14-4, 4-1, marking the first time in program history the Bucs won 14 of their first 18 games to start three straight seasons. ETSU won 13 of their first 17 games for three straight years from 1948-51.

Matt Frierson

ETSU held one of the best 3 point shooters in D1, Matt Frierson to 0 points on 0-5. Frierson’s had 52-game streak of making at least one three-pointer and was held scoreless for the first time since Feb. 11, 2017 (vs. VMI). 

Mercer

ETSU next plays Mercer in Macon on Saturday the 11th. Mercer at 6-10 is better than their record indicates. They have lost 5 games by less than 5 points. Including only losing by 4 at NC state and 4 at Wofford. Mercer is 6-1 in Macon this year.

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ETSU destroys Chattanooga 96-70

tray-boyd-vs-chattanooga

On Saturday night ETSU took down Chattanooga in well played 96-70 victory. Tray Boyd continued where he left off against Samford. Boyd finished with 19 points behind 7-9 shooting, including 4-5 from the 3-point line.

The Bucs shot an incredible 61% from the field and 50% from 3 with 9 makes. ETSU also got back on track with their free throw shooting by making 75% of their attempts.

ETSU continued their rebounding dominance by out-rebounding Chattanooga by 10 and that was with their top rebounder Jeromy Rodriguez sitting out most of the first half due to foul trouble. Rodriguez only finished with 4 rebounds for the game, while Lucas N’Guessan and Mladen Armus picked up the slack with 7 and 10 rebounds respectively.

The win put ETSU at 13-4 overall, 3-1 in the SoCon. The Bucs have won all nine of their home games, their best start since the 2003-04 season when they went 12-0. It was also the 6th time in a row ETSU has defeated rival Chattanooga. Their average margin of victory during that span has been 17 points.

Highlights from ETSU’s 96-70 victory vs Chattanooga

Greg Dennis

Prior to the start of the game, ETSU legend, Greg Dennis was honored with the retiring of his jersey. Greg Dennis played a huge role in the late 80’s early 90’s dynasty team that went on to win 4 straight Socon titles, a top 10 ranking and NCAA tournament win versus Arizona. Greg is 2nd all-time in scoring and field goals made at ETSU and was 4-time all Socon selection.

ETSU legend Greg Dennis getting his jersey retired

The Citadel

ETSU next plays at The Citadel on Thursday, January 10th in Charleston where they will look to avenge the loss from last season which prevented ETSU from winning a share of the Socon title. Citadel is 9-4 on the year and lost at Furman today 101 – 85.

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ETSU defeats Samford in OT

Mladen Armus with the Dunk

East Tennessee State defeated Samford on Thursday night 81-72 in overtime after nearly blowing a 17-point 2nd half lead.

It was a game of halves on Thursday which saw ETSU dominate the first half and leading by 15 at halftime thanks to tough defense and 5 made 3-point shots.

The 2nd half started similarly as ETSU got a quick score by Jeromy Rodriguez and pushed the lead to 17. However, it was downhill for the Bucs afterwards as ETSU missed their next 10 shots. At the 12:39 Samford had cut the ETSU lead to 4 at 53-49. Samford later tied the game at 70 with 1:18 left. ETSU had two opportunities to win the game in the final 38 seconds but neither Tray Boyd or Isiah Tisdale’s shots fell.

In overtime the Bucs outscored Samford 11-2 thanks to a big 3-point shot from Tray Boyd and some clutch free throw shooting.

Part of the reason for the big comeback from Samford was due to the free throw woes for the Bucs. ETSU missed nine of 15 free throws in regulation but then went 6 for 6 in OT. The Bucs also turned the ball over 18 times.

With the win head coach Steve Forbes moves to 6-0 in overtime games while coach at ETSU and half of those overtime victories have been against Samford.

Highlights from ETSU’s win vs Samford

Rebounding Domination

The Bucs continued to dominate the boards on Thursday night by out-rebounding Samford 48-31. Both Jeromy Rodriguez and Mladen Armus combined for a total of 36 rebounds. 19 for Rodriguez and 17 for Armus. Coach Forbes even commented in the post game that he had never seen such a dominating rebounding performance from two players in a single game. ETSU continues to lead the nation in rebounding margin at +13.9 a game.

Scott Padgett vs Karl Hess

Another interesting moment late in the game came when official Karl Hess charged towards Samford coach Scott Padgett during a verbal altercation between the two where Padgett had to be restrained. Padgett later commented in the post game where he said “Are you stepping at me right now?” at Hess.

Scott Padgett commenting in the postgame on the altercation with official Karl Hess

ETSU will next face rival Chattanooga in Freedom Hall at 4PM on Saturday where ETSU legend Greg Dennis will have is jersey retired.

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Bucs get back on track with win over Western Carolina

Bo Hodges vs WCU

After having their 16 game winning streak and undefeated Socon record broken by UNCG on Monday the Bucs were in need of a back bounce win. They got that win with a convincing eleven point victory over Western Carolina. The game was never really in question for ETSU who built an 18 point first half lead and later extended that lead to 23 points in the 2nd half.

ETSU got a big boost from Devontavius Payne who scored a game high of 22 points off of 6-7 shooting from the 3-point line. Payne who has been the 6th man for ETSU most of the year got the start over Jalan McCloud who had been feeling ill before the game. ETSU also got a big boost from the two freshmen, Bo Hodges and Mladen Armus. Hodges scored 17 points in 17 minutes, making 6 of 7 from the field, including a nice alley-opp dunk in the 2nd half. Meanwhile, Mladen Armus was dominating the boards by grabbing a game high 10 rebounds, including 6 offensive ones.

As a team ETSU held Western Carolina to just 38% shooting, while ETSU shot 47% from the field and 45% from the 3-point line. The Bucs dominated the boards by grabbing 44 compared to just 24 from WCU. The Bucs also got back to sharing the ball with 16 assists, something they failed to do against UNCG. The only real weak spot from the Bucs in this game was turnovers. The Bucs committed 22 turnovers for the game which is partly why the final margin wasn’t larger than 11 points.

ETSU is now finished with road games for the rest of the season, the final three regular season games will be in the friendly confines of Freedom Hall. The Bucs finish the conference road schedule by going 8-1 and have won 11 total road games for the year. That number is tied for the most in all of college basketball.

Dominance over Western Carolina

The Bucs have now won 23 of the last 24 games against Western Carolina. ETSU also hasn’t lost a regular season game against WCU since 1998. The last loss came in a Socon tournament quarterfinal game in 2015, which happened to be former coach Murry Bartow’s last game with ETSU.

Help from UNCG

With the win Saturday the Bucs continued to have a hold on first place in the Socon and thanks to a loss from UNCG at Mercer the Bucs now have a 2.5 game lead over UNCG. A win on Tuesday versus The Citadel and the Bucs can atleast clinch a share of the regular season title. However, if the Bucs want to clinch a #1 seed in the Socon Tournament they will need to win at least 2 of those 3 games since UNCG currently has the tiebreaker over ETSU.

Final 3 games

ETSU will close out the regular season this week with games against The Citadel on Tuesday, Wofford on Friday and Furman on Sunday. All three games will be at Freedom Hall. The Bucs will be looking to clinch the regular season title during this stretch, so come out and Fill Freedom for each game!

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ETSU defeats Chattanooga in front of a sellout crowd

Peter Jurkin

Today the red hot ETSU basketball team faced an improved Chattanooga team who knocked off 2nd place UNCG earlier in the week with hopes of doing the same to ETSU. The Bucs did not disappoint the sell out crowd at Freedom Hall as they rolled to an easy 81-61 victory over rival Chattanooga. The win is the 15th in a row for the Bucs which is tied for the 2nd longest in school history, set by the 1952-53 Bucs.

Early in the first half it looked as if this would be a close game tied at 18 with about 10 minutes left in the half. From there the Bucs went on a 14-2 run to lead by 12 with two minutes in the half. The Bucs continued to run away with it in the 2nd half as Chattanooga didn’t get any closer than 11 points the rest of the game. ETSU has now won 4 straight games against rival Chattanooga with three of those four wins being by double digits.

ETSU was led in scoring once again by Desonta Bradford who scored 22 points. Peter Jurkin also had big game for the Bucs, brining in a double double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. ETSU continued to dominate on the defensive end, the Bucs held the Mocs to 39 percent shooting and 26 percent (5-of-19) from 3-point range. ETSU had a 39-25 rebounding advantage and 44-32 on points in the paint. The Bucs also shot well for the 2nd straight game going 57% for the game and 56% from the 3-point line.

ETSU is now 12-0 in the Socon and 21-4 overall. The Bucs get a much needed break and will not play again until Saturday, Feb. 10th on the road at VMI.

Jam City

The Bucs were showing Chattanooga and the rest of the Socon why they are often called “Jam City” by the Buc faithful. ETSU put on a bit of a dunk show with three amazing dunks from David Burrell, Peter Jurkin and Desonta Bradford. Below are all three dunks.

Legendary Bucs

In attendance at todays game against Chattanooga were the legendary Bucs from the 1967-1968 season who made the Sweet 16 after defeating Florida State in the 1968 NCAA tournament. They were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their sweet 16 appearance and were honored in the first half. The ’68 Bucs also took time to speak to the 2018 Bucs this morning during their practice.

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ETSU gets 20th win with victory over Samford

Bo Hodges Dunk vs Samford

With seven games left in the regular season ETSU picks up their 20th win of the season after a 96 to 76 win over Samford. The win extends the Bucs winning streak to 14 and conference record to 11-0.

ETSU jumped out to a 30-8 lead in the first half and led 48-35 at halftime and it looked like the Bucs were on their way to a big win. However, Samford started the 2nd half hot and cut the ETSU lead to three points with 15:53 left in the game. After that ETSU went on a 24-5 run and cruised to the 20 point victory.

Desonta Bradford was the star again tonight for the Bucs with a career high of 31 points on 12-16 shooting and 5-9 from the 3-point line. In addition to Bradford, Devontavius Payne added 15 points and Jalan McCloud 11 for ETSU. As a team the Bucs shot 58% and 45% from the 3-point line with 14 total three point shots made. The shooting percentages were a huge improvement over Monday’s night game versus The Citadel when ETSU just shot 36% from the field.

ETSU will look to continue their winning streak on Saturday at 4PM as they face off against rival Chattanooga. ETSU beat Chattanooga 85-66 earlier in the year on the road.

Player of the Week

Not only did Desonta Bradford come up big tonight versus Samford but his impressive play earned him player of the week in the Socon. Bradford averaged 18.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game to help the Bucs to a 3-0 record. Bradford is the 2nd ETSU player to earn Socon player of the week this year. Senior, Peter Jurkin also earned player of the week honors on January 9th.

Fastest to 20

For the third year in a row ETSU basketball has reached 20 wins, however what’s most impressive is it’s February 1st with seven games left. This is the fastest any ETSU team in history has won it’s 20th game. Not only that, but currently only 8 other division 1 college basketball teams have 20 wins. Some of those teams include Villanova, Auburn, Virginia and Purdue.

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