ASHEVILLE, NC (WJHL) — Before all the fans found their seats, ETSU men’s basketball found themselves in a 16-point hole to Western Carolina. The Bucs rallied, but fell in the SoCon quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon, 69-57.
“Didn’t really follow the scout pretty well,” ETSU forward Jalen Haynes said. “And, you know, they punched us in the mouth early. So, like with that being said, yeah, it was almost a 20 point deficit at the start of the first eight minutes of the game.”
“We didn’t really follow the game plan,” ETSU guard Jordan King explained. “You know, we were losing guys on screens, not really talking – came out lackadaisical. That first media timeout that run right there, that hurt us, you know, and we dug a deep hole, a deep hole for ourselves.”
The Blue and Gold shot just 36 percent from the floor in the defeat, while the Catamounts hit at a 50-percent clip and buried ten three-pointers in the victory.
“To Win this game, we probably had to win it the fifties, you know, and go win it 59-55 and not let them shoot 50 percent for the game,” ETSU head coach Desmond Oliver said. “Not let them go make ten threes and out-score us by ten points in the paint.”
Haynes turned in a double-double for the Bucs, scoring 23 points and grabbing ten boards. King notched 18 points of his own in the defeat.
Tyzhaun Claude led WCU with 15 points, but Tre Jackson (14 pts), Bernard Pelote (14 pts) and Vonterius Woolbright (10 pts) all finished in double figures.
The fifth-seeded Bucs finished their season with a record of 12-20.