Bucs Finish Non-Conf Play 10-3

The ETSU Men’s Basketball team finished the 2017 non-conference schedule tonight as they cruised to a 92-71 victory over Savannah State in Freedom Hall. It was very encouraging to see our guys come out with a lot of intensity in this game after coming off a tough, emotional loss to the Voles at home (more emotional for the fans as I couldn’t even bring myself to write a recap). Perea kicked off the scoring with a powerful two handed slam and the Buc’s never looked back. Devon Payne was hott in the first half, hitting 4 3-pointers and finished with a career high 17 points. TJ Cromer started off a bit slow in the first half with 5 points, but came alive after the intermission and finished with a career high 30 points. Desonta Bradford had another overall solid game finishing with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. Under the basket, Perea scored 13 points and had 8 rebounds. Ike Banks came off the bench and played very aggressively finishing with 2 pts and 6 rebounds. AJ Merriweather was the junkyard dog that he is and recorded 11 points, 5 steals, and 4 rebounds.

Savannah State’s leading scorer Dexter McClanahan finished with 28 pts (a career high).

The Buc’s enter conference play with a record of 10-3, with 10 wins being their most non-conf wins since the 90-91 season. A few things I’d like to see us clean up going into league play are our free throw shooting (66%), our turnovers (14 per game), and finishing at the rim.

ETSU hosts VMI on December 31st in the first conference game of the year

Boxscore

Recap

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Buc’s Handle Morehead St On The Road

The Buc’s handled business today on the road at Morehead State as they cruised to a 78-68 win. Many Buc fans, including myself, were worried they might overlook this game in anticipation for the vaunted matchup with Tennessee at Freedom Hall 5 days from now. However, they showed no signs of that as they got out to a 35-12 lead 10 minutes into the first half. The game was never really in doubt, although the Buc’s had two lapses during the game and allowed Morehead to get within 9 and 8 pts in the second half. Despite the Eagles record and the assault allegations against their now former coach, year in and year out Morehead is a consistently good mid-major program so I’ll definitely look at this game as a good win on the road.

TJ Cromer busted out of his recent shooting slump going for 23 pts, 7 assists on 6-9 shooting from 3 point land. He did have 6 turnovers which is uncharacteristic of him. Desonta Bradford and Hanner Mosquera-Perea finished with 13 pts a piece and David Burrell added 7 pts off the bench.

ETSU @ Morehead St. Boxscore

ETSU @ Morehead St. Recap

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ETSU Gets Much Needed Road Win At SEC Foe Miss. St.

The Buccaneer faithful were able to witness their first win on the road in 2016 as ETSU beat SEC foe Mississippi State at “The Hump” in Starksville, MS on Wednesday night. The Buc’s came into the game needing a resume building road win, and they got what they needed. Quite frankly, ETSU looked like the better team all game. They led by as much as 10 and never trailed throughout. ETSU has played Miss. St. in the past, and came into the game leading the all-time series 2-1. They were able to add to that series lead via a buzzer beating put-back by Hanner Mosquera-Perea with barely a second left on the clock. Desonta Bradford stepped up big time, hitting multiple shots in the lane, beyond the arc, and sinking 2 critical free throws down the stretch to pull of the dub. Even though TJ Cromer is the leading scorer, Bradford can easily take over as the go-to guy when needed.

As far as stats go, Bradford led the way with 15pts, 4reb, and 2ast. TJ Cromer had 14pts on 6-14 shooting. There are many other contributors to mention as this team is DEEP. However, some of note are Devontavius Payne who had 9 pts and David Burrell with 8. Both players came in with ferocity and hit 3 big threes between them. For Mississippi State, the Buc’s were able to stifle the Bulldogs leading scorer in Quinndary Weatherspoon who finished with 13pts on 3-9 shooting. The Bulldogs leading scorer was F Aric Holman, who finished with 17pts, 6reb, and 4blks.

When you play on the road against a good team it’s all about managing the storm, and the Buc’s did that tonight. Something we never saw last game against Dayton, or UNC Wilmington. Tonight was a huge team building win for our Bucs. Our players proved to themselves they can play on the road and manage a comeback effort by the home team.

ETSU takes on Morehead St. at their place on Saturday Dec. 17th. While Morehead St. is always a respectable mid-major, they have struggled this year amid complications with their previous coach.

More analysis to come

ETSU @ Mississippi St. Boxscore

ETSU @ Mississippi St. Recap

Watch Replay: ETSU @ Mississippi St.

Desonta’s Dunk in Transition

Game Winning Shot:

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Bucs fall at Dayton 75-61

The Buc’s had another chance to pull of a signature win on the road, but they simply could not get it done against a very talented Dayton team picked to win the Atlantic 10 conference. Oddly enough, the Buc’s struggled inside even though that has been proven to be a strength, as their season avg in rebounding margin is +10. The Flyers were able to shut down the Buc’s leading scorer TJ Cromer (19 ppg) who went 1-11 from the field and finished with 4 pts. Desonta Bradford and David Burrell were the lone bright spots for ETSU who produced 12 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast (4 to) and 12 pts, 4 reb respectively. Charles Cooke led the way for Dayton going for 24 pts, 8 reb, and 4 blocks. Dayton also welcomed back the edition of Senior F Kendall Pollard who returned from injury and played a big part on the glass snagging 12 rebounds and scoring 12 points.

The Buc’s move on to Mississippi State on Wednesday Dec. 14. They will have their 3rd chance in as many tries to pick up a solid non-conference win on the road. The Buccaneer faithful, including myself, will be intently rooting for an improvement in play from our talented and deep squad. I’m hoping the Dayton game was merely a mirror of the Villanova game last year, where we lost badly, and then proceeded to beat Georgia Tech on the road courtesy of a Guyn 3 at the buzzer.

ETSU @ Dayton Boxscore

ETSU @ Dayton Recap

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ETSU Wins Sanford Pentagon Showcase

ETSU travelled to South Dakota over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to participate in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase. Aside from ETSU, the other teams involved in the round robin tournament include Milwaukee from the Horizon, South Dakota State from the Summit, and UC Irvine of the Big West. The Bucs went on to win the tournament with TJ Cromer claiming the tournament MVP and Desonta Bradford earning all tournament team honors. Now sitting at 5-1, ETSU will return home to face Lees McCrae and Limestone College before heading to Atlantic 10 foe Dayton on December 10.

Game One – ETSU 86 Milwaukee 62  Recap/Boxscore

Game Two – ETSU 71 South Dakota St. 59 Recap/Boxscore

Game Three – ETSU 72 UC Irvine 66 Recap/Boxscore

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