DELAND, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2013) – Saturday magic struck again for the ETSU men’s basketball team.
Down 20 points with just 12 minutes left in their game with Stetson, the Buccaneers rallied to close the contest on a 28-7 offensive run and ultimately grabbed the lead courtesy of a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) with six seconds left, dropping the Hatters 62-61 in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Edmunds Center.
The win marks the fourth Saturday victory in league play for the Bucs this season, as well as the fourth time this year that the team has rallied from a double-digit, second-half deficit to win. With the victory, ETSU improved to 8-18 overall, 6-7 in A-Sun play, while Stetson dropped to 10-14, 7-6.
“Wow, this team just has an innate ability to comeback,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “When we were down 20 with 12 minutes left, that game can easily become a 30-point loss. But all year this team has found a way to battle and fight. Rashawn made a big shot, but again this was a win where several guys made plays – especially down the stretch.”
The Bucs certainly made plays during the final minutes, but things didn’t start out well at all.
In the first half, Stetson hit on 8-of-16 shots from 3-point range and abused ETSU’s defensive pressure to take a 38-26 lead at the break. Before the intermission, the Bucs were equally inept on the offensive end and shot just 37 percent from the floor and 33 percent from the foul line (3-of-9).
Things only got worse in the opening moments of the second half, as Stetson manufactured a 10-0 offensive run to make it 54-34 with just over 12 minutes left in the game. At that point, the Bucs switched a full-court press defensive scheme which included a trapping half-court strategy as well.
That switch helped make Stetson ineffective offensively, while leading to several easy buckets for the Bucs as ETSU went on a 15-1 run to make it 55-49 with just over four minutes left. From there, it appeared Stetson would hold on as they scored the next three points to regain a nine-point edge.
However, the Bucs closed on another 11-3 run to get the win. Rembert’s game-winning shot came after the Bucs inbounded the ball with 16 seconds left and senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) avoided the Hatters’ defensive pressure to find Rembert open in the right corner.
With 5.4 seconds left, Stetson’s Joel Naburgs attempted to force the ball up the floor for the win, but the Bucs stopped his progress and his pass attempt was intercepted by ETSU’s sophomore post John Walton (Memphis) as time expired.
For the game, Jones finished with a game-high 17 points, while Rembert netted 16. Junior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) also had a strong game with a double-double effort thanks to his 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Stetson got a team-high 15 points from Aaron Graham, while Adam Pegg netted 10.
The Bucs will return to action at home on Thursday, taking on Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.