SoCon Tournament: ETSU defeats VMI, 70-57

VMI AthleticsETSU dispatched upstart VMI, 70-57, Saturday in the first quarterfinal matchup of the 2020 Ingles Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale.

It wasn’t a dramatic finish, but the Keydets gave the Bucs everything they wanted on short rest after opening tourney play at 5 p.m. Friday.

Daivien Williamson led a quartet of double-figure scorers for the favored Bucs with 15 points. Tray Boyd III and Isaiah Tisdale has 12 apiece with another 11 from Joe Hugley. The bench duo of Sean Conway and Greg Parham paced the Keydets with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Bucs were in cruise control leading by 15, 58-43, after Patrick Good’s 3-pointer with 7:12 to play. VMI provided a speed bump in the fast lane to the semifinals.

Conway sparked his squad with outstanding offensive board work. Kamdyn Curfman missed a trey and Conway recovered it and kicked it out to Travis Evee, whose immediate effort was off target. Conway again rebounded the ball and tried a third option. Parham drilled it from the right wing.

A third straight defensive stop for the Keydets was quickly rewarded by Curfman splashing a triple with just over five minutes to play, cutting the lead to eight, 60-52. Boyd ended the drought the next time down for the Bucs, floating in a 3 from in front of his bench. That steadied the ship as the lead never dipped its toes inside double digits again.

The Bucs advance to the semifinals and await the winner of Mercer-Western Carolina in Saturday’s second quarterfinal. The semifinal begins at 4 p.m. Sunday in Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville broadcasting on select Nexstar affiliates as well ESPN+.


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