ETSU Bucs to play Green Bay in first round of CIT

Sports

There’s more basketball to be played for the Buccaneers.

The ETSU men’s basketball team learned Sunday night that they will host Green Bay in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The first round game, labeled the Hugh Durham Classic, will be played Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside Freedom Hall. 

“We are very excited to be hosting a home game in the CIT,” said head coach Steve Forbes, who has the Bucs in postseason play for the third time in his four years at the helm. “Our goal is to continue to play well and make a run at the CIT Championship. Our players and staff are thrilled to be playing another game inside Freedom Hall in front of the best fans in the SoCon.”

The Bucs, who have won five of their last seven games, enter the tournament with an overall record of 24-9 after reaching the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament. The 24 wins are tied for the seventh-most in program history, while ETSU has won 100 games since the start of the 2015-16. The 100 wins are the most over a four-year stretch in program history, while the Blue and Gold were the 18th team to accomplish the feat during this time frame.

ETSU won 13 of its 15 games inside Freedom Hall this season and is 51-10 (.836) at home in the Forbes era. 

This marks the Bucs’ 16th postseason appearance in program history, along with their third trip in the CIT (2011 & 2014).

Green Bay enters Wednesday’s game with an overall record of 17-16 and went 10-8 in the Horizon League. The Phoenix fell to top-seeded Wright State in the semifinals of the conference tournament. Green Bay is led by senior guard Sandy Cohen III as he is averaging a team-best 17.2 points per game, which ranks sixth in the Horizon League. Cohen has scored 20 or more points in five of his last seven games, while he also leads the Phoenix in field goals made (183), free throws made (150), rebounds per game (6.4), assists (150) and steals (63).

This will be Green Bay’s sixth postseason appearance in the last seven seasons. The Phoenix played in the 2013 CIT, made back-to-back trips to the NIT in 2014-15, played in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and accepted a bid to the 2017 CBI.

ETSU defeated Green Bay 103-90 back on Nov. 17, 2015 inside Freedom Hall, which is the only prior meeting between the two programs. The game was a part of ESPN’s 24-hour college basketball marathon and tipped off at 6 a.m. on ESPN2.

“Linc Darner is an outstanding coach, and his teams always play fast and can score,” said Forbes. “We played the Phoenix four years ago in the ESPN 24-Hour College Basketball Marathon. Sandy Cohen III is a first team All-Horizon guard who averages 17 points per game, while Green Bay averages 80 points per contest. It will be an exciting match-up for our fans and a tremendous challenge for our team.”

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