MACON, Ga. (March 5, 2010) -- Just one win away from reaching the league championship game for the second straight year, the ETSU men's basketball team will meet Kennesaw State Friday night in the semifinals of the 2010 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament at the University Center on the campus of Mercer University.
Tip is set for 6:30 p.m.
ETSU (18-14) is coming off a 72-64 win over Campbell in the quarterfinals on Thursday, thanks to a career high 32 points from junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester).
For more on Friday's game, click on the game notes link above or read the game notes below.
With four straight wins serving as momentum, the ETSU men's basketball team will continue its defense of the 2009 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament championship Friday night against Kennesaw State in the semifinals of the 2010 event ... The Bucs are certainly not the same team that won this event a year ago, having lost all four of its five starters from a year ago (three to graduation and one to injury), and giving up over 44 points of the team's 78.1-point average from a year ago ... But there has been even more to overcome, as the Bucs also were forced to deal with the death of rising sophomore forward Seth Coy (Washington, Ind.) to a car accident over the summer and the loss of 1,000-point scoring guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) to injury early in the regular season ... Regardless, ETSU now stands at 18-14 overall thanks to a win over Campbell in the quarterfinals, and the Bucs find themselves just one win away from the league championship game ... While Smith has been absent and will apply for a medical redshirt season, junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston), along with junior guards Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) have stepped up their games. In fact, Hubbard has posted double-doubles 13 times this season on way to being named second team All Atlantic Sun Conference ... Currently, Hubbard leads the team in scoring with 14.0 points per game ... Williams and Tubbs are averaging 12.2 and 12.0 points per game, respectively.
The Bucs in the A-Sun Tournament
Entering just their fifth Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the Buccaneers are 7-3 all-time, and most recently enjoyed a perfect 3-0 run through the event a year ago en route to a conference title and trip to the NCAAs ... The Bucs' previous trips included a loss in the first round of the event in 2006, advancing to the finals in 2007, and falling in the semifinals in 2008 ... In conference tournaments all-time (including the Southern and Ohio Valley), the Bucs are 37-21, having gone 7-3 in league championship final games.
ETSU in conference finals
The Buccaneers have played in 10 previous tournament finals and hold an impressive 7-3 mark ... The following is a breakdown of those games:
1983 -- vs. Chattanooga, 70-62 (L)
1989 -- vs. Marshall, 96-73 (W)
1990 -- vs. Appalachian State, 96-75 (W)
1991 -- vs. Appalachian State, 101-82 (W)
1992 -- vs. Chattanooga, 74-62 (W)
1993 -- vs. Chattanooga, 86-75 (L)
2003 -- vs. Chattanooga, 97-90 (W)
2004 -- vs. Chattanooga, 78-62 (W)
2007 -- vs. Belmont, 67-94 (L)
2009 -- vs. Jacksonville, 85-68 (W)
Bucs hoping to add one more NCAA trip
Having already made eight trips to the NCAA Tournament in its history, the ETSU men's basketball team would like to add another conference tournament trophy to the case in the Mini-Dome ... The Bucs' current stretch of success under head coach Murry Bartow is arguably the second best stretch of success in ETSU hoops history ... The most successful stretch was from 1989 to 1992, when the Bucs made four straight trips to the NCAAS, were ranked in the Top 10 nationally (1991), and defeated Arizona in the NCAA first round of the tournament in 1992 ... The Bucs only other trip prior to that stretch came in 1968 ... While head coach Ed DeChellis took the Bucs to the tournament in 2003, Bartow has taken the Bucs to the tournament twice (2004 and 2009), while also leading ETSU to the 2007 NIT.
Last time in the A-Sun Tournament
MACON, Ga. (March 4, 2010) - Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) chose the perfect time to play the game of his life. ... Scoring a career high 32 points and setting a personal best with nine made field goals, Williams powered the No. 5-seeded ETSU men's basketball team to a second half rally and a 72-64 victory over No. 4-seeded Campbell in the quarterfinals of the 2010 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon at the University Center on the campus of Mercer University. ... Campbell, which was one of four teams in the A-Sun to share the regular season title, led throughout the game before the Bucs finally took the lead at 34-33 with 13:49 left. ETSU did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. ... It indeed worked, as the Bucs took a 25-21 halftime deficit and scored 51 points after the break. Defensively, it was Bartow's decision to leave the Bucs' man-to-man and go to a zone defense midway through the second half that finally put the brakes on the Campbell offense. ... Along with Williams' effort - which included a 9-of-14 clip from the field, a 4-of-6 mark from 3-point range and a perfect 10-of-10 showing from the foul line - the Bucs also got 18 points and eight rebounds from junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston). ... In the first half, the Bucs got off to a sluggish start offensively and turnover issues for the Bucs allowed Campbell to build a lead of nine points at 18-9 with 7:25 left before the intermission. However, at that point ETSU responded with an 8-0 run to make it 18-17 with 4:56 left before the break. Campbell responded with a run of its own to go up 25-19 with 1:30 on the clock, but a basket from Williams made it 25-21 at the intermission. ... For the first 20 minutes of the game, Campbell used an 11-3 advantage in points off turnovers to build its lead, while the Bucs held a 19-14 edge in rebounding. Both teams played solid defense, as Campbell was held to 40 percent shooting and the Bucs hit on just a 35 percent clip. ... After the break, ETSU managed to tie the game at 29-29 and 31-31, but then outscored Campbell 13-6 to take a seven-point lead at 44-37 with 9:50 left in the game. Campbell responded with a quick 6-0 spurt to make it 44-43 with 8:21 left, but at that point Williams took over with 10 of the Bucs next 14 points during a 14-4 run that gave ETSU its largest lead of the contest at 58-47 with 5:01 left. ... From there, Campbell tried to rally back but the Camels were unable to make any headway. ... For the game, ETSU held a 35-23 edge on the boards and shot 45 percent from the floor for the game (55 percent in the second half).
The series against Kennesaw State
The Bucs are 8-1 all-time against the Owls, including an 66-45 win over Kennesaw State in the last meeting between the two on Feb. 12, 2010, at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Last time against Kennesaw State
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 12, 2010) - Sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) collected a career high 15 rebounds and scored 14 points on way to his fourth double-double performance of the season, as the ETSU men's basketball team won its third straight game by defeating Kennesaw State 66-45 in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... In front of a crowd 3,471 fans and a regional television audience on CSS, Brown also dished out four assists, grabbed four steals and blocked three shots in what was arguably the best performance of his collegiate career. Meanwhile, junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) posted a game-high 23 points, while fellow junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) added 13 points in the winning effort. ... After falling behind 2-0 early on, the Bucs went on an early 17-3 run thanks to a 3-point barrage from Tubbs and Williams. From there, the Bucs kept the pressure on as Tubbs hit each of his career high five 3-pointers in the first half, and ETSU led by as many as 20 at 31-11 with just over four minutes left in the half. Kennesaw tried to cut into that lead in the final minutes before the intermission, but ultimately trailed 37-20 at the break. ... In the second half, the Owls did rally and cut the lead to 12 at 41-29, but a quick 8-0 spurt by the Bucs made it 49-29 and from there ETSU never looked back. ... For the game, the Bucs committed just seven turnovers compared to 20 for Kennesaw, and the ETSU defense held the Owls to only 32 percent shooting from the floor. The Bucs were outrebounded 42-39, and only shot 39 percent from the floor despite winning by 21. ... Along with Brown, Tubbs and Williams, the Bucs also got an eight rebound and six-point effort from junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston), while sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) came off the bench to score eight points and grab three steals in 20 minutes of floor time. ... KSU had only one player in double figures, as Markeith Cummings points a 10-point, nine-rebound performance.
Sollazzo honors Coy with number change
When ETSU's rising sophomore forward Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) was tragically killed in a car accident this summer, it left the entire Buccaneer community with a deep sense of loss ... As is often the case, those that are left to mourn have looked for ways to remember the Bucs' 6-foot-11 "Gentle Giant." ... For sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), who was Coy's roommate, the answer was simple ... Changing his jersey number from No. 20 to Coy's No. 43, Sollazzo will play the 2009-10 season to honor his friend and have that memory with him each night. ... In addition, the Bucs were a special "43" batch on their uniforms this season in honor of their fallen friend and teammate.
Century mark not usual for ETSU defense
Giving up 100 points in the loss to Belmont (1/23/10) was not usual for the Buccaneers ... Before that game, the Bucs had not given up 100 or more point in over two years ... The last time it happened was on Dec. 15, 2007, when the Bucs lost to Syracuse 125-75 ... This season, the most points the ETSU defense had allowed was 85, in games at Arkansas and UAB ... For the year, the ETSU defense is giving up an average of just 66.7 points per game.
Williams bringing more offense table
Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) has worked his way into the starting lineup thanks to more consistent play on the offensive end ... He has scored in double figures in 18 of his last 23 games, and most recently played the best offensive game of his career with personal bests for points (32), field goals (nine), 3-point goals (four) and free throws (10) ... Currently, Williams is one of three Bucs averaging double figures scoring this year with 12.2 ppg.
Hubbard steps up game in 2009-10
Much has been written and reported about junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and his efforts to improve his offensive game, and those strides have led to some solid numbers ... He currently leads the Bucs with 14.0 points per game and 8.4 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted 13 double doubles on the year, his efforts began to pay off on the offensive end against Chattanooga back on Nov. 17 ... Setting career bests for points (26) and rebounds (13), Hubbard collected his first career double-double against the Mocs ... In addition, he hit his first 3-point shot in three seasons with the Bucs, and didn't stop there -- ultimately finishing with four long-range bombs on the night.
Tubbs getting it done for the Bucs
When junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) transfered out of the University of Alabama and came to ETSU, many expected the athletic guard to provide an immediate impact on the offensive end of the floor ... This has been the case ... Against Charleston, Tubbs posted a game high and career high 29 points in the Bucs win over Charleston (11/25) ... He followed that effort up with 21 points against Arkansas, and a game high 22 points in the loss to Tennessee ... Currently, Tubbs has eclipsed double-figure scoring in 20 of ETSU's 34 games.
Record setting night from the arc for Bucs
Hitting on 11-of-14 shots from 3-point range against Arkansas, the Bucs put their name in a multiple of record books ... First, those numbers set a new school record for 3-point field goal percentage in a game with a 78.6 percent mark, breaking the previous record of 66.7 percent which had been done three times previously ... In addition, it was the best shooting effort in the "nation" this season for teams taking more than 10 shots in a game ... And it was the best percentage by a team in the A-Sun since Nov. 28, 1999 when UCF was 11-of-14 in a game against South Carolina state.
ETSU the "only" A-Sun team picked among
nation's best "Prestige" programs
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 22, 2008) - Since the beginning of the modern era for NCAA Division I-A basketball - marked by the expansion of the NCAA Tournament field to 64 teams in 1984-85 - the ETSU men's basketball program ranks in the Top 30 percent of the 300 programs that were eligible for the postseason at that time, this according to a new "Prestige" ranking released by ESPN.com ... The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed six NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, seven 20-win seasons, and a slew of conference regular season and tournament championships since 1984-85, ranked tied for 82nd out of 300 teams, meaning they were in the Top 27 percent of schools making the list. ETSU was ranked ahead of every current Atlantic Sun Conference team, as well as former Southern Conference rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. The Bucs also were placed ahead of every current member of the Colonial Athletic Association with the exception of Old Dominion ... In addition, the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as other major programs such as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson, California and Florida State.