JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2011) - Powered by 21 points from senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) and 16 points from fellow senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.), the ETSU men's basketball team won for the eighth straight time, dropping Atlantic Sun Conference rival Jacksonville 74-62 Saturday afternoon inside the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
With the win, the Buccaneers improve to 12-7 overall, 7-1 in A-Sun play, and set up a critical two-game weekend this Friday and Sunday when they will host league rivals Lipscomb (Friday) and Belmont (Sunday). Meanwhile, the Dolphins drop to 11-5, 5-2.
"It's great to win two on the road again," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team is now 4-1 on the road in league play this season. "I think the close win at UNF again helped us get some momentum for today. We just really played well offensively and shot the ball well. All five starters were really good for us tonight. Now it's good to head home for five straight."
Along with Williams and Tubbs, the Bucs also got 11 points from both junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) and junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa). As a team, ETSU shot 54 percent from the field, 42 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, and 78 percent from the free throw line, while holding JU to just 33 percent from the field.
The Bucs got off to a great start in the first half, as Tubbs and Williams both opened with a flurry of 3-pointers and ETSU used a 17-3 run over the first seven minutes to take a 20-6 lead at the 13:29 mark. Unfortunately, the 14-point edge would be the largest lead of the half for ETSU, as Jacksonville managed to slowly cut into the deficit and ultimately trailed 39-33 at the break.
In the first half, Tubbs led the way with 14 points and a 4-of-5 clip from 3-point range. ETSU shot 56 percent from the floor and 42 percent from beyond the arc, outrebounding the Dolphins 17-15 and holding a 14-4 edge in points off the fast break.
After the intermission, Jacksonville quickly cut the Bucs lead to four at 41-37, but the Bucs put together a 6-0 spurt of their own to make it 47-37 with 16 minutes left in the game. The two teams basically traded baskets for the next six minutes, until Jacksonville got to within seven at 58-51 on a basket by Delwan Graham with 8:26 left.
However, from there the Dolphins could not get any closer as the Bucs went on an 8-2 run to push the edge back out to 13 at 66-53.
Jacksonville was led by 18 points from guard Travis Cohn, while Ayron Hardy and Delwan Graham added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The Bucs will return to action on Friday evening at 7 p.m. against Lipscomb. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoops link.