Second-half struggles continue to haunt Bucs

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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MACON, Ga. – ETSU men’s basketball couldn’t flip the script.
After building an 11-point lead early in the second half, the Buccaneers went cold and Mercer rallied for a 65-56 victory on Wednesday night inside Hawkins Arena.
Despite leading by nine at the half and 11 in the second, ETSU was outscored 32-12 as the Bucs suffered their seventh loss in the last eight games, moving to 13-15 overall and 5-10 in conference play.
In the first half, the Bucs shot 57 percent from the field (16-28) and went 5-of-12 from beyond the arc; however, ETSU shot 21 percent (6-29) and missed all 10 three-point attempts in the second half. For the game, the Blue and Gold finished 39 percent from the floor (22-57) and 23 percent from three-point range (5-22).
Mercer shot 48 percent from the field (22-46) and 36 percent from beyond the arc (8-22), while hitting at a 50 percent clip in the second half (9-of-18). The Bears were also 4-of-8 from long distance in the final 20 minutes.
At the free throw line, ETSU finished 7-of-12, compared to Mercer going 13-of-17.
The Bucs won the battle on the glass by eight, 35-27, while grabbing 16 offensive rebounds, resulting in 14 second-chance points.
With the win, Mercer – who had lost six straight against ETSU in Macon – improved to 15-13, 8-7.
Ledarrius Brewer (Meridian, Miss.) scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds.
Jordan King (Albany, N.Y.) came off the bench to net 17 points (15 first half) and knocked down three of ETSU’s five made triples.
Mohab Yasser (Giza, Egypt) made his first collegiate start, totaling five points and nine rebounds.
Mercer was led by Felipe Haase’s 17-point performance, while Jalen Johnson added 16 and Shannon Grant ended with 13 off the bench.
The Bucs controlled the first half as they scored the first four points and pushed their lead to eight when Jordan King hit a three-pointer, making it 22-14 with 10:40 left in the first half. ETSU then extended the lead to double figures, 30-20, following another King triple with under seven minutes to go in the opening stanza, while taking its largest margin of the night at 42-30 when Mohab Yasser drove in for a fast-break lay-up with 1:36 left before intermission. Mercer scored the last points of the half on a three-pointer, and the Bucs took a 42-33 lead into the locker room.
The Bucs started the second half with a bucket as Ledarrius Brewer grabbed an offensive rebound and laid one home, putting ETSU up 44-33 at the 19:28 mark.
Unfortunately, momentum shifted and Mercer capitalized on ETSU’s scoring drought.
The Bucs went nine minutes and twenty-four seconds without a point and the Bears rattled off 13 straight points to take their first lead of the night, 46-44 with 11:25 remaining.
Brewer then snapped the drought with back-to-back scores as ETSU regained a 48-46 advantage with 9:30 showing on the clock. Mercer’s Jovan Tucker answered with a three-point on the next trip down and the Bears never relinquished their lead.
ETSU was able to pull even at 50 with 7:27 left in the contest, but Mercer scored the next five to open a five-point lead. The closest the Bucs would get was three and the Bears scored 10 of the final 14 points to pull off the nine-point win.
The Bucs head to the Palmetto State to take on The Citadel Saturday at 1 p.m.
For more information on ETSU men’s basketball, visit and click on the men’s basketball tab.

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