Recap: East Tenn St vs. Lipscomb
Johnson City, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - A.J. Merriweather drained a free-throw attempt with two seconds remaining in the second overtime period to lift the East Tennessee State Buccaneers to an 89-88 victory over the Lipscomb Bisons in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament at the MSHA Athletic Center.
Merriweather's go-ahead free-throw conversion was just his third point of the contest. Jalen Riley paced the Buccaneers (18-14) with 28 points, which he accompanied with 10 boards. Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard also registered a double- double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Lester Wilson had 13 points and Hunter Harris added 11 points for ETSU.
Malcolm Smith paced Lipscomb (15-15) with 24 points and a game-high 12 boards. Josh Williams nearly recorded a double-double as he tallied 20 points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocks. Martin Smith and J.C. Hampton scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, on a combined 7-of-36 shooting from the field.
The Bisons took a narrow, 31-29 lead into the intermission despite being held to 31.4 percent efficiency from the floor and converting just 5-of-11 attempts at the charity stripe in the opening period. ETSU's halftime deficit came in large part due to its 10 turnovers before the break.
Lipscomb hit on only 6-of-23 attempts from behind the 3-point line in the second stanza. The Buccaneers also struggled offensively after the intermission as they were limited to 37.9 percent efficiency from the floor. ETSU trailed, 58-42, with 8:45 remaining in regulation, but it went on a 22-4 run to take a 64-62 lead by the 2:52 mark of the period. Martin Smith connected on a 3-pointer with 20 seconds showing on the game clock to give the Bisons a 69-68 lead, but Riley made a free throw on ETSU's next possession to even the score. Martin Smith missed a 3-point try just before the buzzer which sent the contest into overtime.
The Bisons never led in the first extra session, but they managed to force another overtime session as Khion Sankey made a 3-pointer with 17 seconds on the clock to tie the score at 80. Rashawn Rembert missed a potential game- winner from beyond the arc as time expired in the first overtime period.
Sankey hit another clutch 3-pointer in the second overtime period to put the Bisons ahead, 88-86, with 32 seconds showing on the clock. Wilson drew a foul on the other end and converted both free throws to even the score and Merriweather was fouled by Williams after rebounding a missed layup by Hampton. After Merriweather's go-ahead free throw, Sankey missed a last second 3-point attempt.
ETSU will play Florida Gulf Coast in the semifinals on Thursday.Game Notes