ETSU fights until the end… Comeback bid falls short on Senior Night

Published 9:08 am Thursday, February 24, 2022

JOHNSON CITY – Down by 20 with 11:37 remaining, the ETSU men’s basketball team – playing with only six guys – cut the deficit to four in the closing seconds, but the Buccaneers’ comeback bid fell short as Chattanooga held on for the 83-77 win in front of 4,610 fans Wednesday night inside Freedom Hall.
With the loss, ETSU dipped to 14-16 overall and 6-11 in conference play. With only one regular-season game remaining, the Bucs already know they will face The Citadel in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament on Friday, March 4 at 5 p.m. inside Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville.
The Bucs outscored Chattanooga 46-43 in the second half, including being plus-14 (37-23) over the final 10:13.
For the game, both teams shot 48 percent from the field, while netting 29 field goals and 12 free throws; however, three-point shooting was the difference. The Mocs were plus-6 from long distance as the visitors finished 13-of-29, compared to the Bucs going 7-of-21. After allowing 10 first-half triples, ETSU held Chattanooga to only three in the second half; but the Bucs were just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes.
The Bucs were outrebounded by seven, 39-32, and allowed 13 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.
ETSU finished plus-8 in the paint, 34-26, but were minus-23 in bench scoring with Grant Ledford accounting for 25 of the Mocs’ 38 points.
With the win, Chattanooga won the regular season SoCon title and secured the No. 1 seed in next weekend’s conference tournament. The Mocs improved to 23-7 overall and 13-4 in league play. The winner of ETSU-Citadel will take on Chattanooga in Saturday’s quarterfinal game at Noon.
Ty Brewer (Meridian, Miss.) led the Blue and Gold with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Ledarrius Brewer (Meridian, Miss.) tallied 13 points and eight boards. Prior to the game, both Ty and Ledarrius were honored during Senior Night festivities.
Mohab Yasser (Giza, Egypt) – the lone Buccaneer to log minutes off the bench – scored a career-high 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Jordan King (Albany, N.Y.) extended his streak of scoring in double figures to 12 straight games as he finished with 18 points and netted four threes.
David Sloan (Louisville, Ky.) – who also played in his final game inside Freedom Hall – posted 11 points, six assists and four steals in 35 minutes.
Chattanooga was led by Ledford’s 25-point effort, while Malachi Smith added 20 points and nine rebounds.
ETSU opened up getting threes from both Ledarrius and Ty Brewer, while King’s triple at the 15:34 mark put the Bucs ahead, 9-6. From there, King assisted on a Ty Brewer lay-up, giving the Bucs their largest lead of the night, 18-13.
Unfortunately, the Mocs responded with a 20-4 run to go up 11, and eventually took a nine-point lead into the break, 40-31.
Ledford provided frustration for Buccaneer fans as he scored 18 points in the first half, including a run where he hit five threes over a four-minute stretch to help fuel Chattanooga’s run.
ETSU started the second half inching within six, but Chattanooga opened its 20-point lead by scoring 18 of the next 22 points to go ahead 60-40 with 10:33 remaining.
With things looking like they were headed just like it did two months ago in the conference opener where the Mocs won by 30, the Buccaneers rallied together and continued to fight.
King ignited the surge with a three-pointer and ETSU turned up the pressure. The Bucs slowly chipped away and cut the 20-point deficit in half when Ty Brewer slammed home an offensive rebound, making it 76-66 with 2:01 showing on the clock.
ETSU then pulled within single digits at 78-70 with just over a minute to play and made it 81-77 following two made free throws by Ty Brewer with 17 seconds left. The Bucs were forced to foul and couldn’t complete the comeback as the Mocs made both free throws. ETSU missed a pair of threes in the closing seconds, allowing Chattanooga to hold on for the six-point victory.
ETSU concludes regular season play Sunday when the Bucs take on UNCG at 4 o’clock inside the Greensboro Coliseum. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
For more information on ETSU men’s basketball, visit and click on the men’s basketball tab.

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