MOREHEAD, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2009) - Despite trailing by just two points to Morehead State with 34.8 seconds left, back-to-back turnovers by the ETSU men's basketball team in the final 30 seconds ultimately cost the Buccaneers a chance at a road victory, as they fell to the Eagles 60-58 in non-conference action Friday evening at Johnson Arena.
After tying the game on a Jarvis Jones (Memphis) 3-pointer with 57 seconds left, Morehead State's Maze Stallworth was fouled and hit both free throws. At that point, the Bucs first turned the ball over with just over five seconds left when junior Micah Williams (Manchester) dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds.
Then, after a pair of free throw misses by Morehead's Kenneth Faried, senior guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) walked with the basketball as he raced to the other end for a desperation attempt to tie it.
"We had a chance at the end, but we just didn't execute and get a shot," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team dropped to 5-7 on the season and has now lost three straight to Morehead State. "This team was in the NCAAs last year and they are a team that's picked to be very good in their league again this year, and we had a chance on the road for the win. We aren't happy with the outcome, but now we have a game that really matter for us beginning Monday night with Jacksonville."
The Bucs shot just 38 percent from the floor on the evening, and were outrebounded 44-30. ETSU was led offensively by Jones' 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, while junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) also added 14. In addition, true freshman guard Bruce Grimm (Rochester, Ind.) pitched in 12 and three steals.
In the first half, the Bucs held Morehead State scoreless for the first eight minutes and went on a 10-0 run to open the game. However, the Eagles finally got on the scoreboard thanks to a layup by forward Les Simmons, and ultimately put together a 9-0 run of their own to make it 10-9 with 10:05 left in the first half.
From there, the Bucs got hot again and built an advantage of seven points at 24-17 when Hubbard hit a running layup with 5:02 left in the half. However, Morehead did not let the Bucs go away and put together an 8-2 run to close out the half and make it 26-25 at the break.
Morehead State opened the second half on an 8-0 run to make it 33-26 with 18:35 left in the game, but ETSU responded with a 10-4 run of its own to pull within one at 37-36 when a Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) 3-pointer found the mark. The Bucs could not retake the lead and actually fell behind by eight points at 52-44 when a Maze Stallworth 3-pointer found the mark with 7:43 left.
At that point, a pair of Jones' 3-pointers helped pull the Bucs back into it at 52-50 with 4:33 left. The Bucs and Eagles then traded baskets, but five straight points from Williams made it 56-55 when his layup found the mark with 1:39 left in the game. After another bucket by Stallworth got it to 58-55 with a minute left, but Jones answered again and tied it at 58 when his long range 3-pointer rattled home with 57 seconds remaining. However, from there Stallworth's free throws were the difference.
The Bucs have now completed their non-conference schedule and will return to action Monday night against Jacksonville at 7 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoops link.