JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Stetson men’s basketball team suffered a 93-66 loss on the road to an ETSU squad that has now won five of its last six games, and moved into third place in the Atlantic Sun Conference with Saturday’s victory.
“I’m very disappointed,” Stetson head coach Corey Williams said after the game. “I thought the effort was horrendous on our part. I don’t think we played with that passion that it takes to win basketball games. We didn’t match their intensity and that’s the thing I’m disappointed about.”
It was Senior Day for the Buccaneers and ETSU head coach Murry Bartow gave all four of his seniors the start, two of which are not regular starters. Stetson was able to take advantage of the irregular Buc lineup, holding onto a 10-9 lead after junior Kentwan Smith made a pair from the line with 15:40 to play in the first half.
From there ETSU went on a 13-0 run bookended by a pair of Lester Wilson three-pointers, giving the Bucs a 22-10 advantage with 11:44 remaining in the first half. They didn’t stop there as ETSU was lights out in the first half, shooting 62.5 percent from the floor.
“It goes back to defense,” Williams said. “We said it from the beginning, we have to guard, and our containment of the dribble is very poor right now and extremely poor today. That’s something that we need to work on.”
The Hatters allowed ETSU to extend the run to 24-4 when Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard finished a layup to make it 33-14 with just 6:48 to play in the first period. A three-pointer by freshman Glenn Baral stopped the Stetson bleeding, but it was senior Hunter Miller who managed to keep the Hatters in the game down the stretch in the first frame.
Miller scored nine straight points for the Hatters, connecting on three attempts from beyond the arc. Two were actually on back-to-back possessions for Stetson, which cut the ETSU lead to just 12 points, at 40-28 with 1:54 left on the clock.
After finishing the half with a 44-30 advantage, the Bucs’ lead dwindled to just 10 points, at 46-36, when a 6-0 Stetson run was capped by two straight buckets by redshirt-freshman Brian Pegg.
Unfortunately for the Hatters a 9-2 stretch for the Bucs, ignited by ETSU leading scorer Rashawn Rembert, put Stetson down 23 points with just 8:37 to play in the game. The Hatters never got closer than 17 points as the Bucs cruised to the 93-66 win in Johnson City.
Senior Raymone Andrews scored 13 of his team-leading 17 points in the second half, and added a game high seven assists in the defeat. The point guard also grabbed four rebounds, had two steals, and turned the ball over just twice.
“Raymone gave us the effort,” said Williams. “He battled his tail off to the very end. Hunter kept us in it with some threes in the first half. Other than that, guys didn’t really play to the level I thought they should have.”
ETSU shot 57.4 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from beyond the arc in the win. The Bucs missed just 23 shots in the game, and collected offensive rebounds on 11 of their misses. Rembert led five ETSU players in double figures with 21 points.
“We’ll go right away and look at some film,” Williams said of quickly preparing for Monday’s next game. “We’ll look at film of this game and see how poorly we played defensively, and then we’ll move on to Upstate.”
Stetson will take on USC Upstate on Monday, a game that was originally scheduled for this past Thursday, but was moved due to southeast storms. The Hatters and the Spartans are scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN3 and the Hatters Radio Network.