KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 4, 2012) – Senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) scored a game-high 19 points, freshman guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) came off the bench to net a crucial 11, and senior Tommy Hubbard (Boston) made clutch plays down the stretch, leading the ETSU men’s basketball team to a 64-59 win over Kennesaw State Saturday afternoon inside the KSU Convocation Center.
The win moves ETSU to 12-10 overall, 6-5 in Atlantic Sun play. The Owls drop to 3-21, 0-12.
With the Bucs trailing 57-54 and 2:37 left on the clock, Hubbard – who played in the game despite suffering from a turf-toe injury – began his game-saving play. He first scored on a traditional 3-point play to make it 57-57, and then after a free throw miss by junior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis), Hubbard grabbed an offensive rebound to keep the ball on ETSU’s end of the court. He later picked up three offensive rebounds in a row on the same possession, before ultimately tapping in a miss to give the Bucs a 60-57 edge with only 20 seconds left in the game.
“You can’t say enough about Tommy Hubbard and the effort he brings every game,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “He was big for us down the stretch tonight. Adam played great as well, but I think what Rashawn gave us off the bench may have been the key to the win. His 11 points and when he scored them were really important for us.”
The first half closely resembled the last meeting between the Bucs and Owls earlier this season, as Kennesaw State connected on seven 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes and led by as many as 11 at 24-13. The Bucs, whose offensive issues have become a theme this year, again struggled to score in the early going, but managed to cut the deficit to six at 30-24 at halftime thanks to a Rembert 3-pointer to close out the half.
Guard Delbert Love was the story of the first half, going 5-of-5 from 3-point range and scoring 15 points for the Owls.
In the second half, Rembert’s play continued to impress as he opened the half with five straight points, and capped a 13-2 run with a 3-pointer that made it 44-42 in favor of ETSU with 10:07 left in the game. The ETSU advantage grew to six at 48-42 on a Poderis’ layup, but the Owls battled back to regain the lead at 57-54 with 2:57 remaining on the clock.
At that point, Hubbard took over. However, after his fourth and fifth point made it 60-57, it wasn’t until Sollazzo and Jones combined to hit four-straight free throws that the Bucs could relax and picked up the win.
For the game, ETSU shot 51 percent from the floor, forced Kennesaw State into 17 turnovers, collected 12 steals and out-rebounded the Owls 26-18. However, the Owls shot the ball well, posting an impressive 57 percent clip from the field and hitting on 58 percent from 3-point range.
Along with Sollazzo and Rembert, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) reached double figures with 14 points. Meanwhile, KSU’s Love netted a game-high 19, while Spencer Dixon pitched in 14, and Brandon Dawson had 12.
The Bucs will return to action on the road Monday, taking on Mercer inside the University Center at 7 p.m. For more on ETSU men’s hoops throughout the 2011-12 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.