JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – It wasn’t always pretty, but ETSU men’s basketball scratched and clawed back from a double-digit deficit against Davidson on Friday night.
The old SoCon foe led by as many as ten points, but a big stretch run from the Blue and Gold earned them a 70-68 win in front of an energized home crowd.
After a first half that saw both teams reach the double bonus, the Wildcats held a slight 31-23 lead.
ETSU began to chip away right out of the locker room and tied the game back up, 41-41, when Jadyn Parker threw down a two-handed slam.
The lead continued to change hands deep into the second half. Davidson’s Achile Spadone buried a three-pointer with 2:45 to play, knotting the game at 64.
It took more than a minute for Ebby Asamoah to push the Bucs back in front with a triple of his own. He also sunk two free throws to push the lead to 70-66 with under 30 seconds to play.
The Wildcats got a quick two, and then forced a turnover, to earn another possession with five seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbounds play, ETSU’s Maki Johnson swatted away a potential go-ahead three-pointer. But, it gave the visitors one last chance. However, David Skogman’s jumper fell well short, as the Bucs’ bench rushed the floor in celebration.
“Do what we do,” coach Savage said after the game. “Play to our identity -we said we wanted to fight 65 times. There were 65 fights tonight and they fought every single one of them. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of any team that I’ve been a part of. I’ve been a part of some really good teams.”
The Delaware transfer, Ebby Asamoah, led all scorers with 24 points and also grabbed seven rebounds.
“I feel like our team played great,” he said. “We played together, man. The energy, the atmosphere in Freedom Hall was amazing.”
“I mean, we all came out with a mission to win this game,” ETSU sophomore guard Karon Boyd added. “It was just a dogfight – refs making calls that of course didn’t go our way – that’s part of basketball. So, really it’s the next man up and everybody just giving their best effort.”
Boys chipped in 17 points and six rebounds in the victory, while Quimari Peterson added 14 points in 40 minutes of work.
The Wildcats were paced by Reed Bailey, who scored 17 points. Skogman (15 pts) and Bobby Durkin (13 pts) also finished in double figures.
ETSU (2-2) will travel to Cleveland State for the Viking Invitational next week, where they will face Cleveland State (Wednesday) and Alabama A&M (Friday).
Tip-off against the Vikings on Wednesday is set for 7 p.m.