Jarvis Jones hit one shot all night: the game-winning buzzer-beating three-pointer that lifted East Tennessee State to a 70-69 road victory over the host Charlotte 49ers.
“Every time we go out there, we believe we’re gonna win,” said 49ers guard Deuce Briscoe. “We prepare so hard that things like that — it just hurts.”
Briscoe led the 49ers (2-2) with 15 points and hit a three-pointer with 00:56 seconds left to give the 49ers a four-point lead, 66-62. After Tommy Hubbard answered for ETSU with his own three, 49ers freshman Pierria Henry drained a three-pointer with 00:16 left to give Charlotte its four-point edge again. After two free throws by ETSU’s Adam Sollazzo cut the lead in half with 12 seconds left sophomore DeMario Mayfield missed two free throws to set up Jones’ game-winner.
“We win or lose together,” head coach Alan Major said. “That’s not his fault. I think the key part of the game was when we led 53-45. You want to take the game by the throat right there. That’s where we want to be.”
The 49ers led by five at the half after pulling in front late in the frame. They took an 18-17 lead with 6:35 to play and managed to open up a nine-point advantage before taking a 31-26 lead into the locker room.
ETSU scored the first six points of the second half to regain the lead, but Charlotte settled in and eventually led by 10, 53-43, with 8:56 to play. ETSU scored the next seven points to close to within three, 53-50, with 6:39 left. At 4:01, ETSU took a two-point lead on a Rashawn Rembert layup and two Marcus Dubose free throws returned the lead to ETSU with 2:03 to play.
That led to the big shots late in the game, with Briscoe hitting a corner jumper that was ruled a two-point basket upon review and then nailing his three-pointer with under a minute to play. Hubbard answered with his own trey for ETSU only to find Henry match him with 16 seconds left – setting up Jones’ final difference maker.
Briscoe finished with a season-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Henry scored a career-high 13 points and hit 3-of-5 three-pointers while adding five steals. Javarris Barnett added 11 points and Chris Braswell scored 10 for the 49ers. Dubose led all scorers with 26 points for ETSU (3-1).
“When we show flashes, I love to watch it as a coach,” Major said. “We need to sustain it for 40 minutes to be what we want to be.”
The two teams combined for 55 turnovers but ETSU shot 51% for the game while the 49ers shot 42%. ETSU owned a 35-29 advantage on the boards.
Charlotte begins a three-game road swing at Wright State, Saturday.