JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 27, 2010) - Senior guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) hit a 30-foot 3-point basket with just under three minutes left in the game, sparking the ETSU offense and helping the Buccaneers surge to a 72-57 win over Campbell in Atlantic Sun Conference men's basketball action Wednesday night at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Prior to Davis' shot, the Bucs had looked on as the first-place Camels took an 18-point second half deficit and whittled away to make it 51-47 with 3:33 left in the contest. However, Davis' shot was followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and the Bucs never let the Camels' surge overtake them.
"What big shots by Jocolby and Justin," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team improved to 11-10 overall, 7-3 in league play, and moved back into a tie for first place with Campbell and Jacksonville. "This is a big stretch of games for us and we really needed to start with a win tonight. Our guys gave a lot of effort and when they made their run we could have backed down. But guys made plays. That's the difference."
For the game, Tubbs led the way with a game-high 18 points, and he was joined in double figures by four other Buccaneers. Junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) picked up his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami) pitched in 12 points and eight boards, Micah Williams (Manchester) added 11 points, and Davis netted 10.
For Campbell (12-7 overall, 7-3 A-Sun), Jonathan Rodriguez and Junard Hartley each had a team high 12 points, while Lorne Merthie added 10.
In the first half, the Bucs used a strong man-to-man defense to force the issue and make for efficient opportunities on the offensive end. While Campbell pulled ahead 1-0 on a Rodriguez foul shot, the Bucs immediately took the lead on a layup by Davis and later built their advantage to as many as 17 at 34-17 with 2:14 left before the break. However, the Camels scored the final five points of the half to make it 34-22 at the break.
After the intermission, ETSU built its lead to as many as 18 points at 40-22 with 17:17 left in the contest. But Campbell responded with a methodical attack that outscored the Bucs 25-11 over the next 14 minutes to make it 51-47 with 3:33 left. Then Davis responded with his heroics.
The Bucs shot 59 percent from the floor for the game and 50 percent from 3-point range. Campbell did force 20 ETSU turnovers, but the Bucs won the battle of the boards 33-26. ETSU's defense held the Camels to just 39 percent shooting for the game and 18 percent from 3-point range.
ETSU will now prepare for a visit from Lipscomb Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. For more on Bucs' men's basketball throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.