MACON, Ga. (March 4, 2010) - Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) chose the perfect time to play the game of his life.
Scoring a career high 32 points and setting a personal best with nine made field goals, Williams powered the No. 5-seeded ETSU men's basketball team to a second half rally and a 72-64 victory over No. 4-seeded Campbell in the quarterfinals of the 2010 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon at the University Center on the campus of Mercer University.
Campbell, which was one of four teams in the A-Sun to share the regular season title, led throughout the game before the Bucs finally took the lead at 34-33 with 13:49 left. ETSU did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
"What a great game from Micah," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team won after trailing at halftime for only the second time this season. "He was really special tonight and getting this win feels good. I want to give credit to our coaching staff for making some adjustments at halftime that really made a difference. We decided to make it a street ball game offensively in the second half, and it worked."
It indeed worked, as the Bucs took a 25-21 halftime deficit and scored 51 points after the break. Defensively, it was Bartow's decision to leave the Bucs' man-to-man and go to a zone defense midway through the second half that finally put the brakes on the Campbell offense.
Along with Williams' effort - which included a 9-of-14 clip from the field, a 4-of-6 mark from 3-point range and a perfect 10-of-10 showing from the foul line - the Bucs also got 18 points and eight rebounds from junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston).
In the first half, the Bucs got off to a sluggish start offensively and turnover issues for the Bucs allowed Campbell to build a lead of nine points at 18-9 with 7:25 left before the intermission. However, at that point ETSU responded with an 8-0 run to make it 18-17 with 4:56 left before the break. Campbell responded with a run of its own to go up 25-19 with 1:30 on the clock, but a basket from Williams made it 25-21 at the intermission.
For the first 20 minutes of the game, Campbell used an 11-3 advantage in points off turnovers to build its lead, while the Bucs held a 19-14 edge in rebounding. Both teams played solid defense, as Campbell was held to 40 percent shooting and the Bucs hit on just a 35 percent clip.
After the break, ETSU managed to tie the game at 29-29 and 31-31, but then outscored Campbell 13-6 to take a seven-point lead at 44-37 with 9:50 left in the game. Campbell responded with a quick 6-0 spurt to make it 44-43 with 8:21 left, but at that point Williams took over with 10 of the Bucs next 14 points during a 14-4 run that gave ETSU its largest lead of the contest at 58-47 with 5:01 left.
From there, Campbell tried to rally back but the Camels were unable to make any headway.
For the game, ETSU held a 35-23 edge on the boards and shot 45 percent from the floor for the game (55 percent in the second half). The Bucs also enjoyed a strong edge at the foul line, hitting on 29-of-37 from the charity stripe (78.4 percent) compared to a 14-of-17 effort by the Camels.
ETSU will now take on No. 8-seeded Kennesaw State in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m., Friday evening. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoops link.