JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) Jalen Riley scored 31 points and Rashawn Rembert added 22 as East Tennessee State defeated Western Carolina 96-89 in a shootout to win the Southern Conference opener 96-89 Wednesday night.
The Buccaneers (5-1, 1-0) launched 59 shots, making 27 including 15 of 30 from 3-point range to win their fifth straight. Riley hit 4 of 7 3-pointers and Rembert 6 of 14 long-rangers.
East Tennessee State blazed to a 52-36 halftime lead, but the Catamounts (3-5, 0-1) began to claw back, dropping four 3-pointers to open the second half and gaining an 83-83 tie with a Mike Brown three-point play with 3:16 left to play.
Western Carolina's Rhett Harrelson scored 25 of his 30 points after halftime, including 7 of 8 3-pointers.
Riley hit two free throws to break the late tie, then drained a 3 for an 88-83 ETSU lead. The Catamounts missed five of their last six shots.