NASHVILLE (Jan. 5, 2013) – Despite showing signs of offensive life in the second half and actually leading at one point, the ETSU men’s basketball team was unable to hold off home-standing Lipscomb, falling 60-56 to the Bison Saturday evening inside Allen Arena.
The Buccaneers dropped their first Atlantic Sun Conference game of the season, falling to 2-12 overall, 0-1 in league play. Meanwhile, Lipscomb improved to 6-8 overall, 1-2 in A-Sun action.
“We liked the pace of the game and showed some good signs, but it wasn’t enough,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team has now lost nine games in a row. “I thought there were encouraging signs for us tonight, but again we didn’t rebound well enough to win and our free throw shooting hurt us.”
Indeed, the Bucs shot just 6-of-15 from the charity stripe and were out-rebounded 39-28 in the game. Lipscomb’s center Stephen Hurt led the way for the Bison with a 17-point, 13-rebound effort, while teammate Deonte Alexander posted a game-high 19 points.
For ETSU, freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) had a team-high 16 points, while junior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.
In the first half, both teams struggled offensively and neither was able to shoot above 40 percent from the field. The difference for the Bison was a 10-2 run midway through the half that took a 12-11 lead for the Bucs and made it 22-14 in favor of Lipscomb with five minutes left before the break. Lipscomb ultimately led 28-19 at halftime.
After the break ETSU was trailing 32-21 before going on an 18-5 offensive run to take the advantage at 39-37. During that burst, Wilson hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 of the Bucs 18 points. However, at that point Lipscomb answered with its own 13-2 spurt to build an advantage of 50-41 with 3:52 remaining.
ETSU didn’t go away, getting to within one possession on a couple of occasions and actually making it 57-56 with 26 seconds left on another 3-pointer by Wilson. Later on, Lipscomb’s Martin Smith hit a pair of free throws to make it 59-56, and a game-tying 3-point attempt by Wilson missed the mark with five seconds left.
The Bucs will return to action on Monday evening, traveling to Northern Kentucky for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against the Norse. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.