ETSU men’s basketball season comes to an end after an 80-65 loss to the Florida Gators in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
In the first half, ETSU fell behind by as many as 8 on two separate occasion inside the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Florida pushed the pace, forcing 3 turnovers and turning it into 6 points before the first media timeout.
The Bucs relied on forward Hanner Mosquera- Perea early, as Perea scored ETSU’s only 6 points in the first 6:15 of the game. ETSU trailed 14-6, but ETSU guard TJ Cromer started to get involved, scoring 8 of ETSU’s next 12 points to cut the Florida lead to 24-20. ETSU forward David Burrell subbed into the game and scored the Bucs’ next 8 points.
ETSU trailed 33-32 going into half. The Gators struggled from behind the arc in the first half, making just 1 of 10 3-pointers.
The Bucs seemed to have gained momentum, taking their first lead of the game off a Cromer 3-pointer to start the second half. Then Florida amped up the defense and started knocking down from long range.
After trailing 37-35, Florida went on a 9-0 run powered by 3s from Florida forwards Devin Robinson and Justin Leon. Florida never surrendered the lead after that run, and ETSU only scored 18 points in the 17:52 of the game.
ETSU shot only 33 percent from the field in the second half compared to their 48.3 percent in the first half. Florida was 6-12 from behind the arc in the second half.
Florida guard Chris Chizzoa came off the bench and scored all of his 16 points in the second half. Robinson led all scorers with 24. Cromer was held to 19 points for the Bucs, Mosquera- Perea only scored 1 point after scoring the first 6 for ETSU.
Florida will move on to face 5th seeded Virginia in the second round. ETSU’s season comes to an end.
It was the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010. They haven’t won a game in the tournament since 1992.