NASHVILLE (Jan. 21, 2010) - Sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with .4 seconds left to give the ETSU men's basketball team a thrilling 71-69 victory over Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun Conference action Thursday evening inside Allen Arena.
Jones came off the bench to play the point guard position and scored 17 points, but none were more important than the last three. Trailing 69-68 with 3.4 seconds left and the Bucs inbounding under their own basket, Jones dished the ball into fellow sophomore Isiah Brown (Miami), who tossed the ball back to Jones for the game winner.
With the win, the Bucs moved into a tie for first place with a 6-2 league record and 10-9 overall mark. Meanwhile, Lipscomb falls to 6-3, 9-9.
"What about Jarvis Jones? Just a great shot for us," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team has now won four straight games in Allen Arena dating back to its three-game run in last season's A-Sun Tournament. "I think Jarvis is the type of player that likes the big moment, and what a moment that was. To get a win like that on the road really puts the team in the right mindset.
"As a team tonight I saw a lot of good numbers. Lipscomb has the best offense in this league and to hold them to 69 points and 39 percent shooting from the floor is big. And outscoring them 34-16 in the paint was a good number."
The Bucs' defensive efforts were impressive, especially holding the league's leading scorer Adnan Hodzic to two points in the first half and a total of 13 for the game. Hodzic entered the game averaging 21.5 points, while his Lipscomb team began the night averaging 80.6 points a contest.
While Jones scored 17, junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) netted a game-high 18, junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) had 13, Brown scored 11, and junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) added 10. Brown also picked up 10 rebounds to collect his first double-double of the year.
The first half got off to an inauspicious start for the Bucs, as the Bisons hit on five of their first nine shots from behind the arc to build a 19-8 lead with 11 minutes left before the intermission. However, the Bucs responded with an impressive offensive run of their own, as sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers and eventually score eight points to spark the ETSU offensive attack.
In all, the Bucs' defense would hold Lipscomb to just one made 3-pointer over the next seven minutes and went on a 20-3 run to lead 28-22 with 4:29 left in the half. ETSU would ultimately outscore Lipscomb 29-11 over the final 11 minutes of the half and held a 37-30 edge at the break.
Most impressive about the first half was the Bucs' effort in the lane. ETSU outscored Lipscomb 18-2 in the paint and held Hodzic to just two points. ETSU shot 54 percent from the field in the first half and was 40 percent from beyond the arc, while forcing eight Lipscomb turnovers on four steals. Lipscomb hit on just 31 percent of its shots in the first half.
After the break, Lipscomb used the first eight minutes to slowly whittle away at the Bucs lead and managed to tie it after back-to-back 3-pointers by Michael Teller made it 47-47 with 11:32 left. The game was still tied at 52-52 when the Bucs went on a quick 7-0 run to make it 59-52, but Lipscomb responded with an 8-3 run thanks to five more points from Teller to get within two at 62-60 with 3:49 left.
Lipscomb continued to pressure and eventually took the lead with a 7-4 spurt that was capped by a layup from Josh Slater to make it 67-66 with 1:47 left in the game. It was the first lead for the Bisons since the 5:24 mark of the first half, but the Bucs regained the lead on a layup by Hubbard with 50 seconds left, only to have Slater hit a pair of free throws with 20.9 second left to make it 69-68.
That set up the heroics by Jones.
Slater and Teller finished with 16 points each, while Hodzic scored 13 and Jordan Burgason had 12.
The Bucs move on to the second part of the Nashville swing, taking on Belmont Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (EST) inside the Curb Event Center. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.