JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – ETSU men’s basketball returns home for a Freedom Hall doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Brooks Savage and his crew are hopeful to replicate Wednesday’s defensive performance against Mercer.
On the road against the Bears, the Bucs were dominant on defense – allowing the home squad to score just 20 points in the first half. The Blue and Gold also held them to under 30 percent from the floor – swiping nine steals and swatting six blocks throughout the contest.
ETSU graduate guard Ebby Asamoah called the performance a “masterclass” before practice on Friday.
“He was meant to say ‘masterpiece’, but masterclass works too,” Savage joked on Friday.
ETSU opens up a three-game homestand against a physical squad from The Citadel on Saturday afternoon.
Both players and coaches believe the key to victory will come in trusting and executing the defensive gameplan for a second-straight matchup.
“I think when you do that, when you can keep it simple, if frees them up to just compete,” Savage said of the defensive scheme. “We’re just chasing quality on both ends of the floor … You know, I think the preparation that’s that them showing up every day working.”
“We need a carryover,” Asamoah said. “You know what I’m saying? We need carryover from every game. So, from last game, it was our defensive energy, our defensive presence that helped us win that game. So we’ve got to carry that over to The Citadel.”
The Bulldogs enter the matchup just 1-8 in the SoCon, but have beaten Mercer (68-66) and nearly knocked-off Furman (82-79 in OT) in the last ten days.
“Just follow the game plan, we know they like to drive the ball a lot and get a lot of drive and kick threes, too,” ETSU forward Jaden Seymour explained. “So, just make sure that we guard the ball first and then, you know, [the] three point line.”
The afternoon will begin with ETSU women’s basketball (15-6, 4-2 SoCon) taking on Wofford inside Freedom Hall at 1:30 p.m. The Bucs and Bulldogs will follow at 4 p.m.