HONOLULU — The East Tennessee State basketball team went 0-for-Hawaii.
The Bucs saw their losing streak swell to seven games Tuesday with a 67-49 loss to San Francisco in a consolation game of the Diamond Head Classic. It was their third straight loss in the tournament at the University of Hawaii and sent them home at 2-10.
They host Virginia Commonwealth in their final non-conference game of the season on Jan. 2, then start Atlantic Sun Conference play Jan. 5 at Lipscomb.
The Bucs challenged the Dons of San Francisco only briefly, falling behind 32-21 at the half and trailing by double figures the rest of the way. The final margin of 18 points marked the first time during their losing streak that they haven’t been beaten by at least 20.
The drought is the team’s longest since the 2004-05 season.
“We have a lot of things we need to get cleared up,” said coach Murry Bartow. “We knew the early schedule was going to be tough, and we knew this tournament was going to be tough. My frustration today is not losing to a really good San Francisco team; I’m concerned moving forward about how we’re going to beat teams in our league. We’re behind some of those teams right now.”
The Bucs got off to a fast start against the Dons (6-6), making six of their first 10 shots, but the offense quickly cooled and San Francisco’s Cole Dickerson heated up. The junior forward scored 13 of his game-high 19 points before intermission.
ETSU shot 42 percent for the game and was 4 of 12 at the foul line. It was also outrebounded 38-21.
“Our rebounding really hurt us in these three games,” said Bartow. “Arizona was huge, top five in the country, and Hawaii was big and dominant on the glass. I didn’t think we’d get hammered in this game like we got hammered. Offensively it hurts you, too.”
Jarvis Jones led the Bucs with 17 points and four assists. He was 7 of 15 from the field, including three 3-pointers.
“If we could have that stat line every game for the rest of the year ...,” said Bartow. “That was great efficiency.”
Hunter Harris made 5 of 9 shots and finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. He was 1 of 7 at the free throw line.
“He’s got a chance to have a good year in our league in those 18 games,” said Bartow. “I thought he played with good energy. We’ve got to get him the ball a little more.”
No other ETSU player scored in double figures.
It was another tough outing for Lester Wilson. The team’s leading scorer coming into the tournament, Wilson had five points on 2-for-9 shooting. That gave him 25 points total in the three games here.
John Walton, meanwhile, started and played 16 minutes but had more fouls (3) than points (0) and rebounds (1) combined.
The Dons got 15 points and five rebounds from Cody Doolin, and 10 and seven, respectively, from Tim Derksen. Dickerson had nine boards in addition to his 19 points.
The Bucs had hoped to get point guard Petey McClain back on the floor in Hawaii, but he sat out all three games with an ankle injury. The freshman hasn’t played during the team’s losing streak.
“He won’t be an end all cure all,” said Bartow, “but he’s certainly going to help us.”
The Bucs flew out of Honolulu after the game. Bartow said he would give the players three days off before beginning preparations for VCU.