King, Bucs set to host struggling Mercer

King’s last game was one for the record books with 42 points against The Citadel. Now the East Tennessee State shooting guard returns home with the Bucs to face Mercer on Saturday and all eyes will be on him.

Of course, with two games a week during the Southern Conference schedule, you’re only as good as your last game. And King knows things can turn in a hurry. He had missed all nine of his shots in the Bucs’ previous game, a home loss to Furman.

After that dud against the Paladins, King owned up to his performance during a meeting with the team. The preseason All-SoCon pick had yet to live up to his billing and it was obvious the pressure was beginning to build.

King’s output increased his scoring average to a team-leading 14.2 points per game.

The Bucs (7-11 overall, 3-2 SoCon) had everyone available in the 96-74 win over The Citadel. Josh Taylor and Brock Jancek, both 6-foot-8 forwards, had missed games leading up to Wednesday and when they were back in the rotation, ETSU looked like a different team.

The Bears (7-11 overall) are 0-5 in the SoCon, having lost those games by an average of 17 points. Their one close call was a 53-52 loss to Wofford. They lost by 29 points to Chattanooga and by 28 to Western Carolina.

Greg Gary is in his fourth season as Mercer’s head coach. The former Purdue assistant won 51 games in his first three years with the Bears.

Saturday will be a doubleheader at Freedom Hall. The ETSU women will take on Samford at 1 p.m. while the ETSU-Mercer men’s game is set for 4 p.m.

The ETSU women come in 13-5 overall, 0-2 in the SoCon after falling to Chattanooga and Mercer to open the conference season. Samford is 9-9, 3-0.

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