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Merriweather's double-double helps Bartow get 300th win

Joe Avento • Jan 5, 2014 at 12:46 AM


Ga. – A.J. Merriweather did all he could to get Murry Bartow his 300th career

victory. Then he celebrated in his own way.


and Rashawn Rembert scored 19 points apiece and the East Tennessee State

basketball team pulled away from Kennesaw State in the second half for a 71-55

victory Saturday in its Atlantic Sun Conference opener to give their coach his

300th win.


had to give him a rub on the head like he would do me," said Merriweather,

a freshman guard who also had 10 rebounds. "I'm proud of the guy getting

300. We're trying to get him 300 more."


his part, Bartow was just glad to win, milestone or not. His team has won eight

of its last 10 games to improve to 8-6.


feels like I'm getting older," said Bartow, whose mother, Ruth, attended

the game. "It was a good win for us. Honestly, I could care less about

that (milestone). It was just a much needed win for us. First road game in the

league, Mercer staring at us Monday night. This was one we felt like we needed

to get so I'm glad we got it."


career record is 300-224 in 17 seasons at ETSU and Alabama-Birmingham. He's

197-141 with the Bucs.


scored the first 10 points of the second half to pull away from a 40-32

halftime lead. The advantage was as high as 21 points thanks to a later 9-0 run

fueled by Merriweather, who had seven points during that stretch.


finished the first half good, and the second half ... I don't know what got

into them because we didn't say a whole lot at halftime," Bartow said.

"We just came out and had a great spurt to start the second half to put

the game away."


has won its last 16 games against Kennesaw State (3-13 overall, 0-3 A-Sun).


Bucs made their first four 3-point shots, with none of them even touching the

rim. Rembert made the first two followed by a pair from Lester Wilson.


thought Rashawn and Lester's threes early were really important for us,"

Bartow said.


were signs of things to come. ETSU finished 7 of 14 from 3-point range, missing

its last three after a 7-for-11 start.


made all four of his 3-point tries, and he gave a pregame assist to point guard

Petey McClain.


told me when we were in the room to just let it fly," Rembert said.

"Thats' what I did."


two-point range, it was a different story. While ETSU was hot from distance, it

connected on only one of its first nine two-point shots. That enabled an

inspired Kennesaw State team, playing its first game since coach Lewis Preston

took a leave of absence, to hang around for much of the first half.


gave a ball fake and swished his fourth 3-pointer from the left corner with two

seconds left in the first half, allowing the Bucs to create a little separation

for the first time, a 40-32 halftime lead.


Isaac Banks came off the bench to score six points late in the first half. He

made both of his field goal attempts, including a sweet midrange bank shot, and

both of his free throws.


wound up shooting 55 percent, thanks to Rembert and Merriweather, each of whom

went 7 of 9 from the field.


very efficient," Bartow said. "Certainly what we're always looking

for is a lot of efficiency. It's easier to score a lot of points on a lot of

shots, but when you get 19 on nine shots, that's pretty good."


Owls were led by Orlando Coleman's 11 points. Nate Rucker added 10.


State out-rebounded ETSU, 30-27. McClain and Jalen Riley each had four assists.


Owls were being coach by associate head coach Jimmy Lallathin.


the game, the game ball was retrieved and given to Bartow.


300, that's what he is now," Rembert said. "Mr. 300."


next is another road game, Monday night at Mercer.