KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 7, 2010) - Junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted his eighth double-double of the season and the ETSU men's basketball team's defensive efforts stymied the Kennesaw State Owls en route to a 63-46 victory in Atlantic Sun Conference action Thursday afternoon at the KSU Convocation Center.
Hubbard finished with a game-high 20 points and 14 rebounds, as the Bucs improved to 8-7 overall and a perfect 4-0 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, KSU dropped to 5-10, 1-4 after being held to its lowest point total of the season and shooting just 31 percent from the field for the game.
"I'm really proud of the defensive effort tonight and I saw a lot of good things especially in the first half," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team forced 20 turnovers and swiped 14 steals. "We're investing a lot of time on the defensive end and the guys seem to be enjoying it. We think it's helping us with our transition offense as well, and I think that showed tonight. And I don't know what else to say about Tommy. He's just playing at a high level right now.
"This game scared me when I was looking at the tape, but fortunately we got off to a good start and kept it going."
Along with Hubbard's efforts, the Bucs got double figure scoring from junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) with 10 points, while freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) dished out six assists. The Owls were led by freshman Markeith Cummings, who finished with 17 points, while LaDaris Green pitched in 12.
In a rather ugly first half offensively for both teams, the Owls were simply worse and unable to solve the ETSU zone. The Bucs held KSU to a season low 13 points in the first 20 minutes, as the Owls shot just 18 percent (5-of-28) from the floor. ETSU took advantage as Kennesaw sputtered, outscoring the Owls 14-4 in the paint and 12-4 on second chance points to take a 29-13 edge into the break.
Hubbard led the Bucs with 12 points and eight rebounds in the first half, and was the only ETSU player in double figures at the break.
The second half had the same look as the first, with the Bucs building their advantage to as many as 23 points and ultimately winning by 17. A huge edge for ETSU came in the paint, where the Bucs outscored the Owls, 34-18. ETSU also outrebounded the Owls 42-35 and grabbed 14 offensive boards.
ETSU shot 77 percent from the foul line and finished hitting 42 percent from the floor.
Next up for the Bucs will be the final of three straight league road games Saturday afternoon at Mercer. Tip is set for 3:30 p.m. in Macon, Ga. For more on ETSU men's hoops throughout the season, visit ETSU Bucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.