JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 12, 2010) -- Playing in front of a live television audience on CSS Friday night, the ETSU men's basketball team will be looking to stay hot and extend their current two-game winning streak.
Standing in the way of the Buccaneers will be Kennesaw State, a team that has improved significantly since ETSU defeated them 63-46 back on Jan. 7. The Bucs are currently 13-12 overall, 9-5 in A-Sun play, and tied in the loss column with four other teams for first place in the league race.
Tip between the Bucs and Owls is set for 7 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
For more on Friday night's game, click on the game notes link located above, or read the game notes below.
Picking up a pair of critical road wins last week, the ETSU men's basketball team returns home tied for first place in the loss column of the Atlantic Sun Conference standings ... The Bucs dropped both Florida Gulf Coast (Feb. 4) and Stetson (Feb. 6) last week, and will prepare to face home matchups with Kennesaw State (Feb. 12) and Mercer (Feb. 14) ... ETSU is currently 13-12 overall, 9-5 in A-Sun play ... Preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) remains doubtful for the Stetson game after having missed the Bucs last 14 contests, and is likely headed toward a medical redshirt season. In Smith's absence, Tommy Hubbard (Boston), along with Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) have stepped up their games. In fact, Hubbard has posted double-doubles 12 times this season. ... Currently, Hubbard and Tubbs lead the team in scoring, with Hubbard averaging 14.6 points per game, and Tubbs pitching in 12.4 a contest. Williams is the only other ETSU player averaging double figures with 11.4 a contest.
The series against Kennesaw State
The Bucs are 7-1 all-time against the Owls, including an 63-46 win over Kennesaw State in the last meeting between the two on Jan. 7, 2010, at the KSU Convocation Center.
Last time against Kennesaw State
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 7, 2010) - Junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted his eighth double-double of the season and the ETSU men's basketball team's defensive efforts stymied the Kennesaw State Owls en route to a 63-46 victory in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the KSU Convocation Center. ... Hubbard finished with a game-high 20 points and 14 rebounds, as the Bucs improved to 8-7 overall and a perfect 4-0 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, KSU dropped to 5-10, 1-4 after being held to its lowest point total of the season and shooting just 31 percent from the field for the game ... Along with Hubbard's efforts, the Bucs got double figure scoring from junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) with 10 points, while freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) dished out six assists. The Owls were led by freshman Markeith Cummings, who finished with 17 points, while LaDaris Green pitched in 12. ... In a rather ugly first half offensively for both teams, the Owls were simply worse and unable to solve the ETSU zone. The Bucs held KSU to a season low 13 points in the first 20 minutes, as the Owls shot just 18 percent (5-of-28) from the floor. ETSU took advantage as Kennesaw sputtered, outscoring the Owls 14-4 in the paint and 12-4 on second chance points to take a 29-13 edge into the break. ... Hubbard led the Bucs with 12 points and eight rebounds in the first half, and was the only ETSU player in double figures at the break ... The second half had the same look as the first, with the Bucs building their advantage to as many as 23 points and ultimately winning by 17. A huge edge for ETSU came in the paint, where the Bucs outscored the Owls, 34-18. ETSU also outrebounded the Owls 42-35 and grabbed 14 offensive boards.
Last time out
DELAND, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2010) - Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) matched his career high with 22 points and junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted his 12th double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds, as the ETSU men's basketball completed a perfect road trip with its second straight win, defeating Stetson 75-60 in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Edmunds Center ... With the win, the Bucs improve to 13-12 overall, 9-5 in A-Sun play, and stay just one game back of league-leading Jacksonville in the regular season standings. Meanwhile, the Hatters drop to 5-18, 3-12. ... The Bucs shot a strong 56.3 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc, holding Stetson to just 35 percent from the field. ETSU also outrebounded the Hatters 38-24 and outscored Stetson 30-22 in the paint. Along with Williams' and Hubbard's efforts, the Bucs also got 14 points and seven boards from sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami), while sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) added a 10-point, five-assist effort to the cause ... The game stood tied 6-6 early in the first half, but the Bucs went on a 9-0 run as Williams scored six of his 14 first-half points to make it 15-6 at the 14:33 mark. The Hatters then cut the lead to five at 17-12, but the Bucs responded by going to work on their largest lead of the half at 31-20 with 5:37 left before the intermission. However, Stetson was not done and answered over the next three minutes by going on a 12-3 run of its own to make it 34-32 with 2:39 left. Bartow called a 30-second timeout at that point to stop the momentum, and it worked as the Bucs scored the final seven points of the half to make it 41-32 at the break. ... The Bucs shot a sizzling 64 percent from the floor and 60 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, while holding Stetson to just 37 percent from the field. However, Stetson shot 90 percent from the charity stripe and hit seven more free throws than the Bucs to stay close at the break ... In the second half, the Bucs got the lead back to 11 early on, but Stetson responded with a quick 5-0 spurt to make it 43-37 with 16:24 left in the game. The Hatters later got the deficit to just three at 48-45, but the Bucs pulled away late with a 15-7 run to make it 63-52 on a layup by Brown with 3:31 left in the game. From there, the Bucs only extended the lead at the foul line
Brown's play coincides with ETSU move in standings
Sophomore Isiah Brown (Miami) has made major strides in his production over the last several games for the Buccaneers ... In fact, over the Bucs last five games Brown has scored in double figures, and is actually averaging 15.2 points and 8.0 rebounds a contest ... During this time, the Bucs have gone 3-2 and won their last two games, moving back into a virtual tie for first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference race.
Jan. 30 not a good day for Bucs
For the second year in a row, the Buccaneers dropped a critical overtime game on Jan. 30 ... One year ago, the Bucs fell 82-72 at Jacksonville, in a game that Dolphins' guard Ben Smith hit a long range 3-pointer to tie the game in regulation and force the extra period ... The Bucs again found themsevles in an overtime game on Jan. 30, losing a nine-point lead in regulation with six minutes left and ultimately giving up a five-point lead in OT to fall to Lipscomb, 85-84.
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 67.9 points per game.
Jones steps up at the point
Coming off the bench to play the point guard position in the Bucs' last game against Lipscomb, sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) answered in a big way with a career high 17 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with .4 seconds left in regulation ... Jones played 23 minutes in the game and was 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
Williams bringing more offense to the table
Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) has worked his way into the starting lineup thanks mainly to back-to-back strong efforts on the offensive end ... Against North Georgia, Williams posted a career high 22 points in leading the Bucs to the win, and he followed that effort with an 18-point night against Murray State ... He has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 16 games, and most recently matched his season high with 22 points against Stetson (2/6) ... Currently, Williams is one of three Bucs averaging double figures scoring this year with 11.4 points per game.
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 ... Already considered one of the best defenders in the A-Sun, Hubbard posted a 32-point and 10-rebound effort in the win over Arkansas and dropped in another game-high 26 in the win over UNF ... He currently leads the Bucs with 14.6 points per game and 8.6 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted double-doubles in 10 of his last 21 games, 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.
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.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 136-44 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 percent ... The Bucs had won five straight at Memorial Center during the 2006-07 season before a loss to Belmont (1/2) ... The Bucs then rattled off 10 straight at home to stand at 15-1 on the Memorial Center floor that season, but fell to Belmont in the championship of the A-Sun Tourney... In 2007-08, the Bucs were 11-2 at Memorial Center ... In 2008-09, the Bucs were 11-2 at home ... This season, ETSU has actually struggled at home, going 6-4 in the Dome and 1-0 in Brooks Gym.
Sollazzo to honor 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.
Big questions surround Bucs entering 2009-10
With the loss of seniors Courtney Pigram and Kevin Tiggs -- one of the most dynamic offensive duos in the country -- the Bucs have had a lot of questions to answer on the offenisve end of the floor this season ... Having averaged 78.1 points a game a year ago, which ranked 21st nationally in all of Division I play -- ETSU has lost 44.0 of those points to graduation when one includes now departed senior Greg Hamlin in that trio ... In addition to the losses on offensive, the Bucs' 13-man roster includes just eight players who have experienced actual floor time in college ... The other five players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or walk-ons ... So far this season, those concerns have been warranted, as the team is averaging just 69.9 points per contest, 8.2 points off their average of a year ago.