January 11th , 2014 23:00 pm Leave a comment

Buccaneers surge in second half, knock off NKU

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JOHNSON CITY — Rashawn Rembert scored a team high 19 points and three other teammates reached double figures as East Tennessee State used a strong second-half offensive performance to down Northern Kentucky 74-65 in Atlantic Sun Conference play Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

With the win, the Buccaneers improved to 9-8 overall, 2-2 in A-Sun play, while the Norse dropped to 7-11, 3-3.

“Northern Kentucky has been really hot — winning three of their last four — so it was good to get this one,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, who collected his 198th victory at ETSU. “I thought we played a really good second half, and got more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. We had some guys make plays and that was the difference.”

Hunter Harris helped power the offense with 17 points while Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard pitched in 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists. In addition, freshman guard A.J. Merriweather added 10 points, five boards and three assists.

In all, the Bucs would shoot 50 percent from 3-point range (8-of-16), while dishing out 18 assists and committing just nine turnovers in the game.

While ETSU led by as many as seven at 13-6 early on, the first half was otherwise a tight contest. In fact, the game was tied at 28 before Merriweather put the Bucs up 30-28 with a layup just as the first half buzzer sounded.

In the second half, the difference in the game was a 15-3 offensive run by the Bucs, a surge that turned a 35-35 contest with 15 minutes left into a 50-38 ETSU lead with 8:23 remaining. After an NKU 3 pointer made it 50-41, the Bucs then scored another nine straight to grab their largest advantage of the game at 57-41.

For Northern Kentucky, junior guard Jordan Jackson scored a game-high 20 points, while Daniel Camps and Jalen Billups added 12 and 10, respectively. The Norse shot 43 percent from the field for the game and just 33 percent from 3-point range.

The Bucs will return to action on the road Thursday at Stetson, with tip set for 7 p.m. inside the Edmunds Center.

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