The two men’s basketball teams play a game that will likely determine who is a contender and a pretender in the Southern Conference race Saturday afternoon.
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers (11–8, 7–4) are 2 1/2 point favorites when they host the Wofford Terriers (12–7, 9–4) Saturday, February 13th at 4 pm.
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Because it makes no sense. ETSU is coming off a 79–71 loss to The Citadel on Wednesday, a team they blew out in their first meeting of the season, 112–84.
That same day Wofford lost to Chattanooga 78–66, a team the Terriers defeated 77–59 in their first meeting.
On top of that, the Terriers’ leading scorer, Storm Murphy, was held scoreless. The senior guard averages 18 points a game and scored 23 points against the Mocs in the aforementioned first game between the two teams.
That’s nothing. ETSU’s Damari Monsanto came in to The Citadel game having scored 20 or more points in five straight games. The freshman guard looked like a coming star.
Except against perhaps the worst defensive team in the SoCon, he too was held scoreless last Wednesday.
So while ETSU and Wofford have won the last two Southern Conference championships, met in the last two conference tourneys, and even played for the championship last year, they’ve come down a bit this season.
Not to the point a Wofford win coupled with a UNCG loss to Mercer on Saturday wouldn’t put the Terriers in first place in the conference (it would), but while both teams have winning records, their post-season chances just don’t seem as strong as before.
ETSU head coach Jason Shay said after the loss to The Citadel he “was trying to do some things that were successful for our team last year,” though he didn’t elaborate.
It would be hard to believe, however, the key to future success for the Bucs wouldn’t be to…