The Bucs’ win streak improved to 11 wins after knocking off SoCon opponent Mercer 84-75 at Freedom Hall Thursday. The Bucs came into the matchup with a 17-4 record and unbeaten in conference play. The Bucs then pushed that win streak to 12 with a 75-62 win at Wofford, the only team they had not yet defeated this year, on Saturday.
In the first half of the game against Mercer, the Bucs led 39-35. For ETSU, Jalan McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas) had 14 points and Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Illinois) with 13 points led the Bucs in scoring in the first half.
As a team, the Bucs shot 43 percent in the first half as well as connecting on 47 percent of their threes. The Bucs defense allowed Mercer to shoot 46 percent in the first half. However, Mercer only shot 30 percent from three.
Mercer received a huge spark in the second half from Desmond Ringer, who only scored two points in the first half. In the second half, he was eight for eight finishing with 19 points for the half.
McCloud was able to stay efficient in the second half, scoring 11 points. McCloud finished with the game-high 25 points.
“A lot of credit to Mercer they really changed the way they played us,” said Head Coach Steve Forbes. “Our plan was to take away the three and make them shoot twos.”
As a team, the Bucs’ offense was efficient, scoring 45 points in the second half on 63 percent shooting.
“They (Mercer) really shot a high percentage of twos, which they had not done against us before,” said Forbes. “Having 18 assists of 24 made baskets lets us know we were moving the ball.”
The Bucs’ winning streak increased to 12 when they knocked off conference foe Wofford. Desonta Bradford (Humboldt, Tennessee) led all Buc scorers with 17 points. For Wofford, Fletcher Magee led all scorers with 21 points.
On defense, the Bucs were locked in, forcing Wofford to shoot just 37 percent. The Bucs offense was very good on the day as they shot 53 percent and 35 percent from three. The Bucs led 38-32 in the first half.
The final score was 75-62. The Bucs return to action Monday, Jan. 29, at The Citadel at 6 p.m. The game can be viewed on ESPN3.