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Bucs sloppy but roll to exhibition victory

Joe Avento • Nov 1, 2019 at 11:03 PM

JOHNSON CITY — There were plenty of coaching moments in the East Tennessee State men’s 80-62 exhibition basketball victory over Limestone College on Friday night, and Bucs coach Steve Forbes plans to revisit every one of them.

“That’s what we do it for,” Forbes said. “Obviously, we’re not in midseason form here. I didn’t think we were.”

Forbes said his team looked tired, something that caught him by surprise.

“I don’t know if it was nerves or energy, you never know,” he said. “They just looked like at the 17-minute mark they were about to die. I thought that was interesting for some guys that were used to playing all the time.”

Isaiah Tisdale led the Bucs with 20 points. Tray Boyd III added 12, going 4-for-9 on 3-point shots, and Daivien Williamson and Joe Hugley each finished with 11 points. Williamson also had eight assists.

Jeromy Rodriguez, coming off foot surgery, played 20 minutes and finished with three points and five rebounds.

HUGLEY INJURED

The win might have come with a steep price. Hugley, a graduate transfer from Central Connecticut State, went down with what appeared to be a serious injury to his right leg when he took a charge with 3:03 left.

The crowd of 3,205 went completely silent as Hugley writhed in pain, and he eventually was helped off the court.

Hugley looked as good as advertised before the injury, getting his 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and making both of his 3-point attempts.

“I hate it for him because this is his senior year and he’s a good player,” Forbes said. “We need him. He’s a great teammate. He’s always talking, very positive. I’m hoping that it’s not bad.”

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Forbes said he had two goals before the game: to have his team defend the 3-point line and make its own free throws. The Bucs accomplished both.

Nobody has any idea what kind of 3-point shooting team Limestone will turn out to be, but for one night at least, ETSU held the Saints to 3-for-15 shooting from long range.

In addition, the Bucs hit 9 of 11 attempts from the line.

BY THE NUMBERS

ETSU forced 27 turnovers and turned them into 30 points. The Bucs shot 47% — going 9-for-24 on 3-pointers — and their biggest lead was 31 points late in the second half.

Rudy Bibb-Boyd scored 14 points and Joseph Battle and Elijah Lockhart each had 10 for the Saints.

Limestone outrebounded ETSU 38-31.

D-II NOT SECOND CLASS

The Bucs’ win came on the same night one of their upcoming opponents lost to an NCAA Division II team. Notre Dame College of Ohio — coached by former ETSU director of basketball operations Mark Richmond — beat Cleveland State in an exhibition game.

ETSU hosts Cleveland State on Dec. 21.

UP NEXT

The Bucs open the regular season Wednesday night at home against Newberry.

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