Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky) has become known as a closer for the ETSU men’s basketball team — he almost always has plays a part in the final minutes of a close game when the Bucs really need it.
On Jan. 21, the Bucs took on the Mercer Bears in a battle to see who would move to the No. 2 spot in the Southern Conference. Mercer couldn’t hold on as the game went into overtime and ETSU came out on top.
“I expect him [Guyn] to make most of his shots because we’re always in the gym working,” said ETSU guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga). “Right before he made the shot, I told him, ‘We are built for shots like this so go make the play’… and he did that.”
The dynamic duo of Guyn and Cromer were too much for the Bears, scoring a combined 26 points in the second half alone. Cromer seemed to be lighting it up from all areas of the court as he shot eight from the field, one 3-pointer and he was three for three from the line. He led the team with three steals, but the most important was the intercepted pass on Mercer’s final possession of the game.
The game was neck and neck the entire night, and there was 17 lead changes total. The final five minutes of the fourth quarter were what truly turned the game around for the Bucs. The Bucs went on an 11-3 run starting with three free throws, two from junior center Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) and one from Guyn. Following the free throws were two big jump shots from Cromer and last, two big time layups from Guyn to tie the game at 57 and send the game into overtime.
“I like the fact that we’re tough and we don’t give up,” said ETSU coach Steve Forbes. “I like the fact that when we get knocked down we spit it out and come right back. … I appreciate that about the team. They don’t get rattled and that’s a good thing.”
Both teams ended the game with 37 rebounds, but ETSU junior forward Isacc Banks (New Orleans, La.) led both teams in individual rebounds with a career high of 14 rebounds.
It was clear that the Bucs’ defense was a key factor in the team’s victory as the team beat Mercer in blocks seven to zero and beat them in steals 10 to four.