Samford basketball comes up short in 79-77 road decision at ETSU

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The Samford University basketball team's run of heartbreaking losses continued Wednesday as the Bulldogs suffered a 79-77 defeat on the road against the ETSU Buccaneers in a Southern Conference contest held at Freedom Hall. ETSU's Hanner Mosquera-Perea scored the game-winning putback with less than 10 seconds remaining. With the loss, Samford (15-12, 6-8 SoCon) dropped its third straight road game and its fourth in a row. The Bulldogs will next be in action Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT) as they return home to face the VMI Keydets in a conference matchup to be held at the Pete Hanna Center. ETSU (21-6, 11-3 SoCon) earned its third straight win and remained in sole possession of second place in the league standings. The Buccaneers have been victorious in seven of their last eight games. Since Jan. 12, the Buccaneers' only losses have come on the road against both Furman, 75-62, and Wofford, 79-76. At home this season, ETSU boasts a near-perfect 12-2 record with its only setbacks coming against Tennessee, 72-68, and UNCG, 83-79. With 50 seconds remaining, Samford held a 75-74 lead in the matchup. The teams then traded buckets from Tevin Glass and Eric Adams to make the score 77-76 with 27 ticks left of the clock. ETSU's T.J. Cromer then missed on a driving layup on the ensuing possession, but Mosquera-Perea, the Buccaneers' senior transfer from Indiana, grabbed the offensive rebound in the lane and followed with the game-winning putback. Mosquera-Perea finished with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists, a blocked shot and a steal. Trailing by one point, 78-77, with approximately 10 seconds remaining, Samford's Josh Starkey drove the baseline on the Bulldogs' final full possession, but accidentally stepped on the out-of-bounds line to turn the ball over to ETSU. In the waning seconds, the Buccaneers' Desonta Bradford connected on one of two free-throw attempts and Christen Cunningham's 70-foot heave at the buzzer drifted left. ETSU was able to hang on for the 79-77 victory. Earlier this season, the teams played a double-overtime thriller at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Buccaneers notched a 96-86 win. Samford's Demetrius Denzel-Dyson led all scorers with 21 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field. The Bulldogs' junior transfer from UMass, attempted 17 shots from the free-throw line and connected on 12. The remainder of Samford's squad finished a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs' Alex Thompson caught fire in the second half and drained a game-high four 3-point baskets. He tallied 19 points in the contest and knocked down 4-of-7 attempts from long range. Samford's Cunningham chipped in with 12 points and six rebounds. Both teams shot 50 percent from the field, but ETSU outscored the Bulldogs, 38-24, in the paint. The Samford University basketball team will next be in action Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT) as the Bulldogs welcome the VMI Keydets to the Pete Hanna Center for a welcome home contest. The meeting will begin a momentous three-game homestand for Samford. Following Saturday's contest against VMI, the Bulldogs will also play host to Chattanooga (Feb. 22) and The Citadel (Feb. 25) for Senior Night. For quick score updates, breaking news and links to all of your favorite articles featuring the Bulldogs, please follow @SamfordHoopsFOE and @Samford_Sports on Twitter.

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