Jalen Riley led the way with 23 points as the East Tennessee State Buccaneers defeated the Chattanooga Mocs, 79-66, in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament at MSHA Athletic Center.
For the Buccaneers (19-15), Rashawn Rembert added 17 points, Kinard Gadsden- Gilliard scored 12, A.J. Merriweather chipped in with 11 points and Hunter Harris pulled down 12 rebounds. The Bucs now advance to the second round of the tournament to face an opponent to be determined.
Martynas Bareika led the Mocs (18-15) with 15 points, while Z. Mason posted a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds in the setback. Casey Jones also finished with 12 points, Eric Robertson scored 11 and Greg Pryor dished out six assists, but shot only 1-of-6 from the floor on the night.
ETSU shot 44 percent from the field in the first half, including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc, as the Bucs went into halftime holding a 33-27 lead. They held Chattanooga to just 29 percent shooting from the floor, including 3-of-12 from 3-point range.
The Bucs maintained their consistency after the break, hitting on 47.1 percent of their field goal tries. They again played strong defense, limiting the Mocs to 33.3 percent shooting, although Chattanooga did have success from beyond the arc, connecting on 7-of-19. The Mocs used a 10-0 run midway through the second half to cut their deficit to just three, 54-51, but the Bucs answered with six straight points to regain control.
ETSU doubled up Chattanooga in points in the paint, 36-18. The Bucs also finished the game with a 21-12 scoring advantage at the free-throw line.