CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jarvis Jones picked the perfect time to score his only points of the night.
Jones swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer Tuesday night as the East Tennessee State basketball team rallied for a dramatic 70-69 victory over Charlotte.
Jones, a junior guard, hit a similar shot to beat Lipscomb two seasons ago. On Tuesday, he had missed his other three shots.
“Jarvis hit a big, big shot,” ETSU coach Murry Bartow said. “Jarvis is one of those guys who doesn’t mind taking a big shot.”
ETSU (3-1) needed some help to set up the winning scenario.
With the 49ers leading 69-67, ETSU fouled DeMario Mayfield with 8.6 seconds left. Mayfield missed badly on both free throw attempts. Adam Sollazzo grabbed the rebound, spun out of trouble and passed to Tommy Hubbard in the lane.
Hubbard spotted Jones open in the left corner and got him the ball just in time. As Jones’ left-handed shot approached the rim, the buzzer sounded. When the ball swished, the only sounds that could be heard in Halton Arena came from the celebrating Bucs. Most of the crowd of 4,733 was stunned.
“It felt good coming out of my hand,” Jones said. “I missed those first few and I was kind of frustrated. I had to put them out of my head.”
Charlotte (2-2) led by 10 points with 8:52 left, but Marcus Dubose kept the Bucs within striking distance. The junior guard finished with a game-high 26 points, many coming at critical times when Charlotte threatened to pull away in the second half.
“I felt I had to be aggressive,” said the 6-foot-2 Dubose, who made 9 of 17 from the field, including all kinds of drives to the hoop against bigger players. “We weren’t really executing our offense.”
ETSU’s Isiah Brown finished with 16 points, making 8 of 10 shots. Brown also helped get Charlotte’s leading scorer and rebounder Chris Braswell into early foul trouble. Braswell scored four early points before picking up two fouls and spending most of the first half on the bench. He finished with 10, half his average.
Hubbard finished with 14 points, including a critical 3-pointer with 50 seconds left that cut the Bucs’ deficit to one. There were five lead changes in the final four minutes.
“Tommy was great late,” Bartow said. “Marcus Dubose, I’m just really glad we recruited him.”
The Bucs out-rebounded the bigger 49ers 35-29. Hubbard and Sollazzo had six rebounds apiece. ETSU shot 51 percent from the field and went 5 of 17 from 3-point range after missing their nine 10 long-range shots. Charlotte shot 42 percent and was 8 of 26 on 3-pointers.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Bartow said. “You keep chipping away, keep battling, keep grinding … We were very fortunate. I’m happy to be getting out of here with a win.”
Deuce Briscoe led Charlotte with 15 points. Javarris Barnett added 11, including a pair of late shot clock-beating 3-pointers.
“Congrats to East Tennessee,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “They played a terrific second half. They made a big shot there at the end. They showed they’re a team that’s been in the postseason the last few years.
“It’s a good lesson for us in maturity and toughness in that you have to play a full 40 minutes if you want to be a team at the level we want to be at.”
Freshman Rashawn Rembert got into the action in the second half for the Bucs after Sollazzo picked up his fourth foul. Rembert had played just four minutes in the first three games but contributed three points in seven minutes. His basket on an offensive rebound put ETSU up 58-56 with 3:59 left.
The 49ers led by as many as nine points late in the first half before ETSU scored the final four to cut the deficit to 31-26 by halftime.
The Bucs came out active in their 2-3 zone with three steals before Charlotte even attempted a shot. Neither team managed to get any offensive rhythm in the early going. They couldn’t hang onto the ball long enough. Each team had 14 turnovers in the first half.
They settled down after halftime. The Bucs finished with 23 turnovers while Charlotte had 22.
The Bucs are on a six-game road trip. Up next is a Nov. 29 rematch at Troy.