JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2016) – The ETSU men’s basketball team is definitely giving its fans their money’s worth.
Thanks to a Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) game-tying score and a miss on a potential game-winning free throw by The Citadel’s Warren Sledge with 1.8 seconds left in regulation, the Buccaneers went to overtime and outscored the Bulldogs 15-6 in the extra period to secure a 101-92 win in Southern Conference play Saturday afternoon inside Freedom Hall.
With the victory, the Buccaneers improved to 13-7 overall, 6-1 in SoCon play, and moved into a tie for first place in the league standings. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs dropped to 9-11, 2-5.
“It wasn’t pretty and I’ll give The Citadel all the credit because they play a style we haven’t seen and I haven’t coached much against,” said ETSU head coach Steve Forbes. “We didn’t get off to the best start offensively in the first half, and just didn’t do the things we needed to do, but we will do a better job of facing that style of play next time. We knew they had won two in a row and it wouldn’t be easy, but sometimes you are going to have games like this and if you want to be a championship team you have to find ways to win them. We did that tonight.”
The Bucs got 11 rebounds and a career-high 20 points from junior forward Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) in a double-double effort, while Guyn joined Banks with a team-high 20 points. ETSU also got double-figure scoring from junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and senior guard Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) with 14 points apiece, while junior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) finished with 11 points.
For the Citadel, Quayson Williams had a game-high 29 points, while Warren Sledge and P.J. Boutte had 12 and 10 points, respectively. It was Sledge’s miss that turned into a critical mistake for the Bulldogs.
Having trailed by 10 early in the second half, The Citadel used a 15-4 offensive run to take the lead at 65-64 with 11:44 left in regulation. From there, the two teams traded the lead 10 times, before a basket by Williams made it 86-84 in favor of the Bulldogs with 1:10 left in the game.
After a pair of empty possessions by both teams, the Bucs had the ball with 28 seconds left and Guyn drove to the basket to score and tie the game at 86 with 14 seconds on the clock. Sledge was then fouled by Cromer with 1.8 seconds left, but missed the front end of his one-and-one attempt at the foul line.
In OT, the two teams traded the lead three times before the Bucs closed on an 8-1 run highlighted by dunks from both Banks and Bello to seal the win. ETSU’s defense held The Citadel to just 2-of-10 shooting in the extra period.
The SoCon’s top two scoring teams did not waste any time lighting up the scoreboard, combining for 86 points in the first half as ETSU led 45-41 at the break. The Bucs never led by more than six points in the opening 20 minutes and actually trailed by four at 41-37. However, at that point ETSU finished on an 8-0 run to take the lead at the intermission.
In the first half, Banks led the way for the Bucs with 12 points and six rebounds, as ETSU shot 47 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 27-21.
For the game, ETSU outscored The Citadel 62-36 in the paint and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 49-44. The Bucs also had seven blocks and finished the game shooting 54 percent from the floor.
The ETSU men will return to action on the road next Thursday, Jan. 28 at Wofford. Game time is set for 7 p.m. in Spartanburg, S.C. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2015-16 season, visit ETSUBucs.com.
(Courtesy ETSU Athletics)