|Hatters Fall Short in Must-Win Game at ETSU|
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Facing a must-win situation, the Stetson Hatters got off to a horrible start Thursday night at East Tennessee State and never truly recovered, falling to the Buccaneers 72-56.
The loss for Stetson means the Hatters (9-19, 6-11) no longer control their own destiny when it comes to getting into the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. The Hatters must hope for a North Florida win over Jacksonville on Friday night to make Saturday’s regular-season finale at USC Upstate meaningful.
ETSU improved to 15-13 overall with the win, 9-8 in league play despite playing the game without two starters.
The Hatters played most of the first half without either of the primary post players after juniors Adam Pegg and Liam McInerney both got into early foul trouble. Still, the Hatters were down by just four points, 19-15, with 7:16 left in the half.
From there the host Buccaneers went on a 10-0 run over the next six minutes before Stetson answered with a pair of free throws by Willie Green followed by a steal and basket by Tyshawn Patterson.
The quick score only slowed ETSU for a moment, and the Bucs bounced back to take a 29-19 lead into halftime.
ETSU then opened the second half on a 11-2 run, pushing the Bucs lead to 40-24. The Hatters never got closer than nine points the rest of the way and trailed by as many as 19 points.
Pegg was the only Stetson player to score in double figures in the game, finishing with 12 points. Chris Perez had nine points and nine rebounds on the night.
ETSU was led by Isiah Brown with 22 points and Adam Sollazzo with 19.
The Hatters will close the regular season on Saturday afternoon in Spartanburg, SC, against USC Upstate. That game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.