For the ETSU men’s basketball team, an unforgettable season was undone by a forgettable offensive performance in the championship game of the Southern Conference tournament on Monday night.
UNC-Greensboro held the Bucs to just 30 percent shooting – which included a 3-for-16 effort from 3-point range – and pulled away for a 62-47 victory to lock up the school’s third NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2001. The Bucs (25-9) were vying for their second straight trip to the Big Dance.
“It was a defensive battle the whole game,” said ETSU coach Steve Forbes. “I thought the first one to 50 would win, and we just couldn’t get it going offensively.”
A large contingent of Buccaneer faithful could be heard loud and clear over the airwaves during the contest, which aired on ESPN2. The Bucs went into halftime tied with Greensboro (27-7), but the Spartans pulled away as the second half wore on.
Jalan McCloud led the Bucs with 15 points and eight rebounds. Desonta Bradford struggled to score, but he did dish out six assists despite playing through an ankle injury. The Bucs managed to hold Greensboro’s star guard Francis Alonso in check, but Demetrius Troy and Jordy Kuiper scored 13 points each to carry the Spartans to victory.