Keydets Rally, Fall 80-79 at ETSU

College Sports

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Down by a 47-30 count at the half, the VMI basketball team rallied to score 49 points in the second half but came up a point shy as the Keydets fell 80-79 to host ETSU Wednesday night at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tennessee.
 
The Bucs (9-6, 1-1) got ahead early in the first half by a 20-10 score, but VMI (9-6, 2-1) rallied to trim the deficit to 26-22 following a Kamdyn Curfman layup with 6:44 to go before the break. ETSU got going again, however, to score 21 points from that point on until the half and the Keydets struggled to keep pace to go into a 47-30 hole after the first half of play.
 
Looking for its seventh win over the past eight games and hoping to snap a 12-game sked against the Bucs, VMI rallied in the second half to claw back from a 19-point deficit and gradually cut into ETSU’s lead. The Keydets eventually accomplished the feat by tying the score at 63-63 with 8:29 to play following a Tanner Mans three-pointer.
 
The teams played point-for-point a few minutes before ETSU built a gradual seven-point lead at 76-69 with 3:20 left on the clock. VMI’s Trey Bonham hit a trey to make the score 76-72 for the Bucs, but VMI ran out of time to complete the rally as ETSU escaped with the 80-79 victory.
 
Senior center Jake Stephens finished with his 11th career double-double as he ended up with 29 points and 15 boards in a complete 40 minutes of play. Curfman finished the game with 17 points while Tanner Mans and Trey Bonham also came away with double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
 
David Sloan led the Bucs with 20 points on the night while Ledarrius Brewer ended up with 19 and 13 points, respectively. ETSU took advantage of nine VMI turnovers and converted them into 16 points during the contest.
 
VMI will look to rebound Saturday at home with a Southern Conference matchup against UNCG at 1 p.m. at Cameron Hall.

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