“That’s what we do it for,” Forbes said. “Obviously, we’re not in mid-season form here. I didn’t think we were.”
Forbes said his team looked tired, something that caught him by surprise.
“I don’t know if it was nerves or energy, you never know,” Forbes said. “They just looked like at the 17-minute mark, they were about to die. I thought that was interesting for some guys that were used to playing all the time.”
Isaiah Tisdale led the Bucs with 20 points. Tray Boyd III added 12, going 4 of 9 on 3-point shots, and Daivien Williamson and Joe Hugley each had 11. Williamson also had eight assists.
Jeromy Rodriguez, coming off of foot surgery, played 20 minutes and finished with three points and five rebounds.
The win might have come with a steep price. Hugley, a graduate transfer from Central Connecticut State, went down with what looked to be a serious injury to his right leg when he took a charge with 3:03 left.
Hugley writhed in pain as the crowd of 3,205 went completely silent. He was helped off the court by Forbes and team doctor Ralph Mills.
Hugley looked as good as advertised before the injury, scoring 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and making both of his 3-point attempts.
“I hate it for him because this is his senior year and he’s a good player,” Forbes said. “We need him. He’s a great teammate. He’s always talking, very positive. I’m hoping that it’s not bad.”
Forbes said he had two goals before the game: To have his team defend the 3-point line and make its own free throws. The Bucs accomplished both.
Nobody has any idea what kind of 3-point shooting team Limestone will turn out to be, but for one night at least, ETSU held the Saints to 3 of 15 from long range.
In addition, the Bucs went 9 of 11 at the line.
BY THE NUMBERS
ETSU forced 27 turnovers and turned them into 30 points. The Bucs shot 47 percent — going 9 of 24 on 3-point shots — and their biggest lead was 31 points late in the second half.
Limestone out-rebounded ETSU 38-31. The Saints were led by Rudy Bibb-Boyd’s 14 points. Joseph Battle and Elijah Lockhart both had 10.
D-II NOT SECOND CLASS
The Bucs’ win came in the same week one of their opponents lost to an NCAA Division II team. Notre Dame College of Ohio, coached by former ETSU director of basketball operations Mark Richmond, beat Cleveland State in an exhibition game Wednesday night.
ETSU plays host to Cleveland State on Dec. 21.
The Bucs open the regular season Wednesday night when Newberry comes to Johnson City.