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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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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Opponent Preview for 1/5/19: Chattanooga

On Saturday, January 5th the Bucs will face off against rival Chattanooga. The 7-9 Mocs are better than last year, but still probably no better than about 8th in the SoCon, ahead of only Western Carolina and VMI, both of whom they have beaten. They are ranked 289th in D1 by Kenpom. Only 4 of their victories are over D1 teams, the highest ranked being #314 Charlotte. The Bucs, now ranked 92nd with a defensive efficiency ranking of 45th, are favored by 16 points. 

Scoring for Chattanooga is low, 73.1 per game, 9th in Socon 212th in D1 (ahead of only Western Carolina @ 67.6 ppg, 305th in D1). Most stats are commensurate with their ratings – near the bottom of the conference. But they are slightly better than ETSU from 3 (.374 to .353; with 9.0 makes to 8.2 makes) although ETSU defends the 3 better. Everybody except Ramon Villa and Justin Brown shoots 3’s. And all who do hit .341 or better, except for Donovann Toatley with .256. Even 7 footer Thomas Smallwood (a Frenchman with the name and red headed looks of an Englishman) who hits .467 with 0.9 makes. 

They have a somewhat better FT% than the Bucs: 688 to .666.

The only player that we’ve played against before is 6-1 guard David Jean-Baptiste. Everyone else is new to the lineup. 9 guys get at least 10 minutes every game. 6 get 25 to 27 minutes, nobody gets more. 

Front Court:
34 6-6 232 Fr. Kevin Easley; 27.6 minutes, 14.6 ppg on .429 with 1.6 makes from 3, 6.1 rebounds
15 6-8 242 R-So. Ramon Vila; 19.7 minutes, 10.3 ppg, no 3’s, 3.7 rebounds 
1 6-4 200 Jr. Jonathan Scott; 27.7 minutes, 6.7 ppg on .417 from 3, 3.9 rebounds 
33 7-0 241 Sr. Thomas Smallwood; 18.0 minutes, 6.7 ppg on .467 from 3, 5.2 rebounds 
25 6-10 205 R-Fr. Justin Brown; 10.6 minutes, 3.6 ppg, no 3’s, 2.6 rebounds 
22 6-7 211 Fr. Keigan Kerby; 13.4 minutes, 3.0 ppg, 2.6 rebounds 

Guard:
5 5-9 179 Fr. Donovann Toatley, 26.7 minutes, 11.2 ppg on .256 from 3 with 0.7 makes, 3.6 assists 
2 6-1 220 R-Jr. Jerry Johnson, Jr.; 26.3 minutes, 10.1 ppg on .341 from 3 with 1.6 makes, 3.3 rebounds 
3 6-1 191 R-So. David Jean-Baptiste; 25.7 minutes 9.4 ppg on .407 from 3 with 1.5 makes, 
4 6-0 167 Fr. Maurice Commander; (9 games only), 25.4 minutes, 6.7 ppg on .357 from 3 with 1.1 makes

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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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