Jones sets career, conference marks in win
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2013 23:02
ETSU and Lipscomb went to overtime Saturday night in the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center.
Like three of the previous four overtime games against the Bison, ETSU found a way to pull out a tough-fought win.
The Bucs rode the hot hand of senior Jarvis Jones, who set a career-best mark with 36 points. Jones came into Saturday’s game with a chip on his shoulder after a close loss to Northern Kentucky in the Bucs previous game.
“I was so frustrated I couldn’t even sleep,” said Jones of his last second miss against NKU that could have won the game for ETSU. “I had to redeem myself after the other night.”
The Bucs took an early lead off freshman Lester Wilson and Jones knocking down early shots from beyond the arc. Lipscomb bounced back after the early surge using their clear size advantage to take an 18-13 lead at the halfway mark of the first half. The Bison bench also outscored ETSU’s reserves 12-6 during the first half, adding to the Buc’s woes
The Bucs were short-handed before tip-off due to junior forward Hunter Harris stepping away from the team to be with his family in Nashville due to a family illness. Lipscomb would use this advantage to pound ETSU in the lane, outscoring the Bucs 36-24 in the paint and forcing the Bucs into foul trouble. ETSU’s second leading scorer Wilson was forced to sit the final three minutes and 17 seconds of the first after being called for his third foul. Junior forward Kinard Gasden-Gilliard and sophomore forward John Walton III both had one foul at the end of the first half.
ETSU relied heavily on outside shots during the first half to no avail.
“We were settling for those (outside) shots,” said Jones. “We knew coming into the game that we could drive on Lipscomb, we just didn’t take advantage of it in the first half.”
Walton III started the second half for ETSU with an emphatic dunk followed by Jones knocking down a jump-shot, pulling the Buc’s even with Lipscomb for the first time since the 14:41 mark of the first half. The tie was as close as the Bucs would get to the lead until freshman guard Petey McClain knocked down one of his two free throws at the 2:26 mark of regulation. Lipscomb stretched the lead to as much as 10 points during the second half, taking advantage of the foul trouble their size had caused for ETSU.
Wilson got called for his fifth foul at the 6:33 mark forcing the Buc’s to play the remainder of the game without one of their best offensive weapons. Gasden-Gilliard followed Wilson to the bench a little over a minute later, robbing the Bucs of their best inside presence.
The final few minutes of regulation was a back and forth battle between the two teams ending with Walton III receiving his fifth foul on the final play of the second half. Walton III made sure his final foul counted, delivering a hard one on Lipscomb’s senior guard Deonte Alexander as he went up for an easy layup.
Alexander converted both free throws in the final seconds of regulation to send the game, knotted at 79, to overtime.
With Walton III’s final foul ETSU was now looking at an overtime against a much bigger Lipscomb team and only a handful of guards, none taller than 6-foot-4, to play the final five minutes.
“Obviously in the overtime, no Hunter, no Kinard, no Lester, no John,” said head coach Murry Bartow. “Five guards, we were playing with five guards the entire overtime.”
With the undersized ETSU squad running out of bodies to throw at Lipscomb, the most experienced player on the floor for the Bucs took the game over. Jones knocked down three long distance 3-pointers, seeming to back up further with each successful shot.
“I was just concentrating on my shot more,” said Jones. “ My teammates put the ball in my hand at the end of the game. They have a lot of confidence in me, and I try to deliver for them”
Jones led all scorers with 36 points, the most any player in the Atlantic Sun conference has scored this season. McClain led ETSU with five assists while freshman guard Yunio Barrueta pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.