TROY, Ala. (Nov. 29, 2011) – As the ETSU men’s basketball team prepared for Tuesday night’s road game against Troy, the Buccaneers’ major concern was the Trojans’ 3-point shooting attack. The Bucs apparently had good reason to be worried.
Troy connected on 12 shots from long range and also took advantage at the foul line, as the Trojans avenged a loss to ETSU earlier this season with a 79-71 victory Tuesday evening inside Sartain Hall. The loss snapped ETSU’s three-game winning streak, as the Bucs now stand at 3-2 on the season. Meanwhile, Troy improved to 3-3.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “Most of the game it was a four to six-point lead for them, and it’s funny how this works, but if we could have tied it that may have been the difference. It’s tough on the road, and when you have as many turnovers as we had it just makes it tougher.
“Twenty turnovers just really kills your chance to win. You have to play well, and we just didn’t play well enough tonight.”
The Trojans started the game on target from 3-point range, with six of their first nine made shots coming from beyond the arc. Those efforts led to an eight-point advantage for Troy, as the score stood at 24-16 with 8:18 left in the first half.
ETSU got it back to within four at 24-20, but the Trojans bounced back to make it 31-22 on a three-point play by Emil Jones with 3:03 left before the break. Ultimately, the Bucs managed to make several defensive stops and went to the locker room trailing by a score of 35-28.
In the first 20 minutes, Troy shot 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc, while the Bucs led the battle of the boards at 18-15.
After the break, the Bucs managed to get within four points on multiple occasions, and trailed just 49-45 with eight minutes left in the game. However, from there Troy found their stroke from 3-point range once again, hitting on four long range shots over the next five minutes to power a 21-10 run and take a 70-55 lead with just over two minutes left in the game.
ETSU got the game back to eight at 79-71 thanks to some desperation 3-pointers in the final minutes, but could get no closer.
While the Bucs shot a solid 48 percent from the floor for the game, it was a 57 percent clip from the foul line (12-of-21) that really hurt the team’s chances. Meanwhile, Troy shot 79 percent from the stripe and was 15-of-19 for the game. The Bucs did outrebound Troy 37-35, but the Bucs’ 20 turnovers were costly as the Trojans outscored ETSU 18-11 off those miscues.
For the night, ETSU was led by a game-high 20 points from junior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa), while fellow guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) netted 19 points. Meanwhile, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) had a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Troy had four players reach double figures, with Justin Wright leading the way with 15.
ETSU will return to action Thursday night, as the Bucs open Atlantic Sun Conference play on the road at Stetson, beginning at 7:15 p.m. It will be the third of six straight road games for the team.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoop link.