The ETSU men’s basketball team just couldn’t keep their leads for long.
In a game that would break the Bucs from sharing the SoCon regular season title, UNC–Greensboro would not let it happen.
In the first half of the game, ETSU kept a small lead for most of the quarter until a little over two minutes remained and UNCG went on a 5-2 run to give them a 31 to 28 lead going into halftime. Neither offense could get things going. The Bucs shot 39 percent from the floor and were two of eight from the 3-point line. They also turned the ball over eight times.
UNCG had similar numbers in the first half as they ended on 38 percent shooting from the floor, 42 percent from the 3-point line with nine turnovers.
The second half started much like a reverse of the first, but it did not end that way.
UNCG led for the majority of the second half and got up to a 15-point lead with about 16 minutes remaining. The Bucs fought back and went on a 20-4 run to tie the game, 59-59 with 3:54 remaining.
Although the Bucs did not give up, it was just a little too late. UNCG got things going again and ended the game 72-66.
“I’m not going to fault my team’s effort,” said Head Coach Steve Forbes. “They played their guts out and we held them to 39 percent field goal percentage which should be good enough to win on the road, but I thought we got a little too sped up and maybe a little too quick right at the end. We turned it over, we didn’t execute plays and that’s what happens in a big game.”
The Bucs were led by senior forwards Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.), who combined to score 32 points. Mosquera-Perea ended with 18 and Glass with 14.
With this loss, ETSU’s record drops to 24-7 overall and 14-4 in SoCon play. It also ended the SoCon regular season in a three-way tie between the UNCG as the No. 1 seed, Furman as the No. 2 seed and ETSU as the No. 3 seed.
The Bucs will face Mercer in the Southern Conference quarterfinals Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in Asheville, North Carolina.