Bucs suffer another close loss; fall to Queens, 78-75

Published 8:44 am Thursday, December 15, 2022

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Rebounding proves to be costly in setback to Royals

 JOHNSON CITY – For the third straight game, ETSU men’s basketball had a look to either win or force overtime with a shot at the buzzer.
 Unfortunately, the story remained the same for the Blue and Gold.
 Trailing by nine with a minute and a half left, ETSU cut the deficit to three with 1.6 seconds remaining. The Bucs got an exceptional look for a tying three-pointer as Josh Taylor’s (Atlanta) heave to Jalen Haynes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was tapped to DeAnthony Tipler (Ashland, Miss.) whose attempt from the corner bounced off the rim as time expired, giving Queens University a 78-75 victory over the Bucs on Wednesday night inside Freedom Hall.
  • The Bucs suffered their third straight loss and fell to 4-7, while Queens won its fourth straight en route to improving to 9-2. Of ETSU’s seven losses, five have been decided by four points or less, including the last three being by a combined nine points.
  • For the second straight game and just the third time this season, ETSU lost the battle of the boards as Queens finished plus-11, 42-31, including holding 17-6 edge on the offensive glass. The Royals finished the game plus-18 in second-chance points, 23-5.
  • ETSU out-shot Queens, 50 percent to 37.5 percent, while the Bucs were plus-5 in field goals made, 29-24. The Royals held the upper-hand in three-point shooting as they made three more from long distance, 13 to 10.
  • Queens also made 11 more trips to the free throw line and made 10 more freebies than the Blue and Gold. The Royals finished 17-for-21, compared to ETSU going 7-of-10.
  • The Bucs only turned the ball over nine times and scored 13 points off 10 Royal miscues.
  • Tipler and Justice Smith (Lyons, N.Y.) came off the bench to combine for 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting. Tipler, who was 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, led all players with 19 points. Smith was 7-of-10 from the field for 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
  • Jordan King (Albany, N.Y.) added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists.
  • Taylor finished with nine points, six boards, four blocks and two assists.
  • Queens, who had four players score in double figures, was led by AJ McKee’s 16-point, 5-rebound performance.
First Half
Neither team had much breathing room in the first 20 minutes as the half saw four ties and six lead changes as the Bucs led 41-37 at the break.
 The Bucs used strong shooting in the first half as they were 55 percent in the stanza, thanks to going 16-of-29 from the floor.
 The Blue and Gold jumped out to a six-point advantage in the opening three and a half minutes, while eventually building an eight-point lead in the closing minutes when a pair of free throws by King made it 37-29 with 2:18 remaining, capping off a 12-0 run. The Bucs were unable to push the lead to double digits and Queens pulled within four at the break.
Second Half
ETSU held the lead for the first eight-plus of the second half, but a three-pointer by Chris Ashby put Queens ahead 54-53 with 11:06 remaining.
 From there, the Royals captured momentum as they held a pair of seven-point leads around the five-minute mark and eventually went ahead by nine in the final minute and a half.
 However, the Buccaneers battled until the end.
 Facing the nine-point deficit, King nailed a triple with 1:10 left to ignite the closing run. Following a Tipler steal, he then fed one to King for a driving lay-up, pulling the Bucs within four with 40 seconds remaining. ETSU had a chance to get closer when Queens missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Smith’s triple was off the mark, forcing the Blue and Gold to foul with 19 seconds remaining.
 Queens went back up by six following the pair of free throws, but Tipler stepped up and hit his fifth triple of the night, making it 75-72 with 14 ticks showing on the clock. The Bucs weren’t done fighting as Smith connected on his lone long-range jumper with 1.6 seconds remaining, making it a one-point game. Smith fouled before the Royals could inbound the ball and the visitors from Charlotte made both free throws. ETSU’s last effort looked to have worked to perfection, but a sixth three-pointer wasn’t in the books for Tipler as Queens hung for the road win.
ETSU wraps up its 2022 home portion of the schedule on Saturday when the Bucs bring UNC Asheville to Freedom Hall for a 4 p.m. tip-off.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball page.

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