Both the men’s and women’s ETSU basketball teams got their preseason jitters out in a weekend full of basketball here in Johnson City.
The men’s team started it off Saturday in a game versus Mars Hill in Freedom Hall. Despite a commanding 104-67 victory, the Bucs were fighting in the first half of the game.
At the end of the first half the Bucs were up 51-43 after going on a 21-8 run in the last seven minutes of the half. Prior to run by the Bucs, Mars Hill led 35-28 until Junior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) sparked off the run after being subbed in with 7:29 remaining. Payne contributed four free throws and two 3-pointers before being subbed out with 3:17 remaining.
A pair of free throws by senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) started off the second half and also started off a 16-4 run for the Bucs that would eventually lead them to victory.
The Bucs defeated Mars Hill by 37 points at the end of the game. The team shot 59.1 percent from the field compared to Mars Hill’s 42.6 percent and doubled the bench points compared to Mars Hill, 54-22. Four Bucs ended the game with double digits: Payne led the team with 17 points, Mosquera-Perea added 14 points, A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) scored 12 and T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) contributed 11.
The men’s regular season opener will be on Nov. 11 in Freedom Hall against Fordham at 7 p.m.
Following the men’s game, the women played on Sunday, Nov. 6 against Emory & Henry, winning 84-39. The Bucs made their presence known on defense and showed off the depth of their bench. They recorded 19 steals and caused 31 turnovers. On top of that, the team contributed 41 points off the bench.
The women also had four players score in double digits.
Senior Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) recorded the game-high with 17 points, junior Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) and freshman Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) finished with 11 points and freshman Anajae Stephney (Knoxville, Tenn.) added.
Regular season will begin for the women’s team on Nov. 11 in Indianapolis, Indiana against Butler.