ATLANTA (Dec. 7, 2013) – Suffering through its worst offensive game of the season, the ETSU men’s basketball team was unable to mount a challenge to Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech, falling to the Yellow Jackets 87-57 Saturday afternoon inside McCamish Pavilion.
The Buccaneers shot just 32 percent from the floor and were out-rebounded 46-36 for the game, while leading scorers like junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) were held to a combined two points in the contest.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 4-6 on the season, while Georgia Tech improves to 7-3 overall.
“I knew looking at the game we needed to play well in three phases – offensively, rebounding and on the defensive end,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “We had a chance to win but we needed to play our best game, and that didn’t happen. Instead, we struggled and they played probably their best game of the year, and when an ACC team does that they can make you look bad.”
The game got off to a nightmarish start offensively for the Bucs, as they shot just eight percent from the field and made only one field goal over the first nine minutes of the game. The result was a 15-point lead for Tech at 24-9 with 10 minutes left before the intermission.
At that point, the Bucs did rally with a 10-0 run to make it 24-19 with 7:35 remaining, but that would be as close as ETSU would get in the first half, as Georgia Tech closed the first frame with a 20-4 run and led 44-23 at the break. The Bucs shot a miserable 23 percent in the first half compared to Tech’s 49 percent clip, and ETSU was out-rebounded 27-14 prior to the break.
Things did not improve for the Bucs in the second half, as Georgia Tech increased its lead throughout the final minutes and ultimately finished with the 30-point victory. It was the largest point deficit for the Bucs since last season’s 32-point loss to USC Upstate back on March 1.
The few bright spots for the Bucs included a game-high 18 points from freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson), while junior forward Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass.) scored his first two points in an ETSU uniform. Meanwhile, Tech got 18 points from forward Marcus Georges-Hunt as the Jackets shot 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range.
The Bucs will now enjoy a nine-day break for academic finals before playing their next scheduled game on Dec. 16 against Tusculum inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Tip for that contest is set for 7 p.m.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.