JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (
The win - ETSU's seventh in eight games - moves the Bucs above .500 overall for the first time this season at 8-7. In Atlantic Sun Conference play, the Bucs are 5-3. Meanwhile, UNF drops to 3-12, 0-8 on the year.
"We did some good things, the most important winning at home again," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "The 10 turnovers as a team jumps out as a good number. Dillion (Sneed) had a good night with a double-double, and five players in double figures is a good number to see. There are some things we need to improve on - offensive rebounding, defensive stops, 3-point shooting - but it's still a win."
In the first half, the Bucs led by three at 23-20, but went on a 9-3 run following a technical foul on UNF. The technical occurred when the Osprey's Cortez Riley had entered the game despite his name not being in the official scorebook. With a 32-23 lead at that point, the Bucs built the advantage to 11 at 44-33 at the break.
After the intermission, UNF rallied to within six at 48-42 with remaining, but after a timeout by Bartow, the Bucs outscored the Ospreys 7-2 to regain the 11-point advantage. UNF would not seriously threaten again and the Bucs would ultimately take the 15-point win at 86-71.
Along with Smith, the Bucs' Dillion Sneed (Chicago) picked up his 10th career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) added 13, junior post Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) pitched in 12, and freshman guard Courtney Pigram netted 10. ETSU shot 45 percent from floor for the game and an uncharacteristically strong 83 percent from the foul line. The Bucs had just 10 turnovers and swiped 16 steals from the Ospreys.
For UNF, Alain Laroche collected a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead UNF, while Ryan Daugherty had a team-high 19 points and Chris Timberlake provided 12. The Ospreys out-rebounded the Bucs 43-39 and dished out more assists than the Bucs, 17-13.
The Bucs will head back on the road in A-Sun play for a two-game swing to Stetson and Mercer this weekend. The team will begin the stretch with a stop at Stetson Thursday night beginning at Meanwhile, UNF returns to