Bucs bounce back with 81-78 win over Lipscomb
Saturday, February 16, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2008) - It was not the usual cast of characters for the ETSU men's basketball team, but the efforts they provided were enough to get the Buccaneers a much needed victory Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Center.


Senior Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) posted his first career double-double, senior Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) scored a game high 23 points, and redshirt freshman guard Micah Williams (Manchester) came off the bench to score a career high 14 points as the Buccaneers snapped a two-game losing skid and rebounded from a disappointing loss to Belmont with an 81-78 win over Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun Conference action.


With the win, ETSU improved to 15-11 overall, 9-4 in A-Sun play, while Lipscomb falls to 13-14, 7-6. The Bucs remain one game back of Jacksonville for second place and two games back of Belmont for first place in the league standings.


 "I thought it was a good bounce back win," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose teams have reached at least 15 wins in four of his five seasons in Johnson City. "We had a lot of energy in practice yesterday, and I was really glad to see our guys come out like that. (Lipscomb) made a great run at us in the middle of the game. They are a hard nosed team, and they're hard to play, so this was a good win for us. It wasn't always pretty for us at the end, but we made our free throws."


While the Bucs came away with the win, it was not easy. In the first half, ETSU rolled out to a lead of as many as 15 points thanks to a 14-5 run midway through the half, leading 37-22 with just over three minutes left before the break. However, Lipscomb posted a 9-0 run of its own to close out the first 20 minutes and cut the ETSU advantage to 37-31.


In the second half, Lipscomb kept the pressure on, outscoring the Bucs 14-4 to open the final 20 minutes and lead by four points at 45-41. From there the two teams had seven lead changes and a pair of ties before the Bucs progressively pulled away to an eight-point edge at 74-66 with 1:53 remaining.


Over the final minutes Lipscomb slowly whittled away at the lead, and even though the Bucs hit their final six free throws, a 3-pointer by Lipscomb's LaKory Daniels made it 79-78 with just over two seconds remaining. After a pair of free throws from senior Travis Strong (Memphis) made it 81-78, the last desperation play by the Bisons was unable to produce a shot and the Bucs escaped with the win.


Swader finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Reed just missed a double-double of his own with a game high 23 points and nine boards, while Williams finished with six boards and 14 points in just 17 minutes. For the game, ETSU was an impressive 48 percent from beyond the 3-point line, while Lipscomb out-rebounded the Bucs 48-42.


Lipscomb had four players reach double figures, led by 18 from Josh Slater. Daniels finished with 17, while Jimmy Oden pitched in 14 and Adnan Hodzic scored 10.


The Bucs will return to action Thursday evening at Gardner-Webb, with game time set for 7 p.m. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com.