Second-half surge leads Bucs to road win at Chattanooga

Published 9:58 am Monday, January 23, 2023

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ETSU moves to 4-0 on the road in SoCon play
CHATTANOOGA – The Buccaneers love life of the road in the Southern Conference.
The Bucs shot 79 percent in the second half and outscored Chattanooga by 25, as ETSU men’s basketball team rallied for 78-62 win over the reigning SoCon champions on Saturday afternoon inside McKenzie Arena.
  • ETSU, who moved to 4-0 on the road in SoCon play this season and has won the last six dating back to last year, improved to 8-13 overall and 4-4 in league play. Chattanooga, missing preseason SoCon Player of the Year Jake Stephens, dropped to 11-10, 3-5.
  • Saturday marked the 97th game in the historic rivalry with ETSU moving closer to tying up the series as the Bucs now trail the Mocs, 51-46. The Blue and Gold won for just the sixth time in their last 28 games in Chattanooga.
  • ETSU shot a season-high 56 percent (32-57) thanks to hitting at a blistering 79 percent clip in the second half (19-24). The Mocs were held to 36 percent shooting (25-69), while after allowing Chattanooga to hit at a 50 percent rate in the opening 20 minutes, ETSU clamped down on defense in the second half. The Bucs limited Chattanooga to 8-of-35 shooting (23%) in the final 20 minutes.
  • The Bucs erased a 12-point second-half deficit by outscoring the Mocs by 25, 45-20. ETSU closed the game on 14-0 run – holding Chattanooga scoreless for the final five minutes and forty-eight seconds.
  • ETSU finished plus-14 in the paint, 44-30 – 28 coming in the second – while winning the rebound battle by one, 37-36.
  • Jordan King (Albany, N.Y.) led all scorers with 29 points as he was 12-of-19 from the field and 4-of-8 from long distance. King also had seven rebounds and five assists.
  • Jalen Haynes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) collected his second career double-double as he tied a career-high with 23 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds. Haynes scored 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the second half to go with seven boards. Overall, Haynes was 11-of-13 from the floor.
  • Jamarius Hairston (Salisbury, N.C.) finished with season highs in points (10), rebounds (7) and made three-pointers (3).
  • Overall, King, Haynes and Hairston matched Chattanooga in points as they accounted for 62 points on 26-of-39 shooting. The trio also combined for 27 rebounds.
  • Dalvin White led the Mocs with 14 points.
It was a tale of two halves as Chattanooga led by nine at the break, 42-33, after the Mocs shot 50 percent from the field.
The opening eight minutes was nip-and-tuck as the Bucs led 21-18 following a lay-up by Haynes, but then Chattanooga rattled off 11 straight points to open an eight-point lead, 29-21, with 9:16 left before intermission.
The Bucs were able to pull within two at 32-30 with five and half minutes remaining, but the Mocs closed the stanza on a 10-3 spurt to take the lead into the locker room.
Chattanooga looked to have carried its momentum into the second half as Jamal Johnson hit a three-pointer eight seconds into the stanza to go up 12, but the Buccaneers then responded.
Over a four-minute stretch, ETSU held Chattanooga scoreless and used an 11-0 surge to inch within two when back-to-back lay-ups by Haynes made 45-43 with 15:59 left in the contest.
ETSU eventually tied things up at 49 on a King jumper with just under 13 minutes remaining – and after the Mocs went back ahead on a three by Randy Brady – the Bucs silenced the home crowd.
Like they did earlier in the half, ETSU kept the Mocs scoreless for the next four-plus minutes en route to opening an eight-point advantage thanks to Brock Jancek (Knoxville, Tenn.) feeding an open Jaden Seymour (Charlotte, N.C.) for a slam, making it 60-52 with 8:39 to play.
The Mocs had one last run in them when another three by Brady made it 64-62, but like the Bucs have done on the road all season, they stepped up and got the dub.
ETSU closed the final 5:48 on a 14-0 run to secure the 16-point victory, marking the Bucs’ 10th win in Chattanooga since 1978-79.
ETSU concludes its two-game road swing on Wednesday night as the Bucs head to Macon, Ga. to take on Mercer at 7 p.m. inside Hawkins Arena.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit and click on the men’s basketball page.

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