The men’s basketball team finished up their fifth Southern Conference game of the season in Freedom Hall on Saturday, coming out on top against the Western Carolina University Catamounts.

This was an important match after the Bucs had a tough loss against UNC-Greensboro, 83-79, at home just a few days prior.

“They were devastated after getting beat at home,” said Head Coach Steve Forbes. “They take a lot of pride in winning at home and that hurt.”

The team was able to bounce back, winning 75-52 and a confidence boost.

The Bucs came out strong in the first half, ending up with a 21-point lead and having shot 73 percent. The Bucs scored more in the first half than the Catamounts were able to produce all game.

It was a strong defensive start that created the easy transition opportunity for the Bucs that continued throughout the game.

“I was really happy with the way we guarded early,” Forbes said. “We came out and really shot the ball well.”

ETSU forced 27 turnovers from WCU the entirety of play, resulting in 23 of their 75 points.

A.J Merriweather (Jackson) had a game high of 6 steals.

“I think that is a testament to where our team is defensively and where we can be as the season rolls along,” Forbes said.

Senior Tevin Glass (Narcross, Ga.) lead the team in points with 14 as well as in rebounds with 8.

Glass and other senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) were both perfect in the paint, going 14-of-15 along with Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) getting in on the action.

Another senior, T.J Cromer (Albany, Ga.), also put up double points, ending up with 12. No player for Western Carolina put up more than 9 points.

While this Western Carolina team is young, the Bucs had to play well to earn the victory.

With this, the Bucs are 4-1 in SoCon play and 14-4 overall.

The next SoCon game will be on the road at Furman on Jan. 14, and the Bucs will be back in Freedom Hall on Jan. 22 against Wofford.