Bucs looking to right the ship against Spartans
Saturday, February 20, 2010

JOHNSON CITY (Feb. 21, 2010) -- In desperate need of a momentum boost, the ETSU men's basketball team will try to snap its current two-game losing skid Sunday in the Buccaneers' final home game of the 2009-10 season against USC Upstate.

Tip is set for 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

The Bucs will honor its' lone senior Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) prior to the start of the game with the Spartans. Davis has spent three season in Johnson City, which included a medical redshirt year last season.

For more on the game, click the game notes link above or read the game notes located below.

Buc bits

Reeling from a two-game losing streak and needing to regain some momentum with the Atlantic Sun Tournament less that two weeks away, the ETSU men's basketball team will try to heal its wounds Sunday in a 4 p.m. tipoff against USC Upstate ... The Bucs watched their hopes of an A-Sun regular season title all but evaporate in a Friday night loss to Campbell, as ETSU dropped to 14-14 overall, 10-7 in league play, two games back of the league lead with three left to play ... Preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) has been out for much of the season and will applie for a medical redshirt to hopefully rejoin the Bucs in 2010-11 ... In Smith's absence, Tommy Hubbard (Boston), along with Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) have stepped up their games. In fact, Hubbard has posted double-doubles 13 times this season. ... Currently, Hubbard and Tubbs lead the team in scoring, with Hubbard averaging 14.3 points per game, and Tubbs pitching in 12.6 a contest ... Williams is the only other ETSU player averaging double figures with 11.5 a contest.


The series against USC Upstate

ETSU leads the all-time series against USC Upstate 5-0 ... However, the Bucs have had some close games with the Spartans, including a 63-62 win at Spartanburg, S.C., bank on Jan. 4 of this year.


Last time against USC Upstate

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 4, 2010) - Despite giving up a 15-point lead over the final 10 minutes and facing a tie score with 58 seconds left, an unlikely scenario involving an injury to sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami) and a made foul shot by a freshman forward Lukas Poderis (Tampa) lifted the ETSU men's basketball team to a 63-62 win over USC Upstate in Atlantic Sun Conference basketball action Monday afternoon inside the E.B. Hodge Center. ... The Bucs - who scored a season-low 16 points in the second half - held a 58-43 lead with 10:12 left and only managed five points the rest of the way. In fact, the Bucs (7-7 overall, 3-0 A-Sun) overcame six missed foul shots and two turnovers in the final minute to still manage a victory thanks to an unusual finish. ... When Upstate's Carter Cook missed a potential game winner with 15 seconds left, Brown came down with the rebound and was fouled to the floor. The foul left Brown holding his right ankle and heading to the ETSU bench. By rule, USC Upstate coach Eddie Payne was then allowed to pick who would replace Brown at the line. ... Poderis hit the first shot of the one-and-one bonus, giving the Bucs the lead at 63-62. His second shot missed, but the Bucs managed to stop Upstate from scoring. ETSU's Micah Williams (Manchester) was then fouled and missed the front end of the one-and-one with six seconds left, but again the Spartans were unable to make a miraculous shot at the end. ... The Bucs were led by a game-high 21 points from junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston), while Poderis added a career best 14 and Williams pitched in 12. Upstate had three players in double figures, with both Pat Posey and Cedric Koffi netting 12 points each. ... The Bucs got off to a slow start and trailed by as many as 11 at 23-12 with 10:18 left in the first half. However, a 16-0 offensive run was just what ETSU needed as the Bucs built a 28-23 lead and ultimately grew their advantage to as many as 14 at 47-33 with 33 seconds left in the half. The Spartans hit a three as time wound down, and the half ended with ETSU leading 47-36. ... The Bucs shot 56 percent from the floor, and despite just shooting 63 percent from the line on the season, ETSU hit on 17-of-19 from the charity stripe for a clip of 90 percent before the intermission. Hubbard led the Bucs with 15 points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes. ... In the second half, ETSU pushed the lead to 15 at 58-43, but from there Upstate outscored the Bucs 19-5. For the game, ETSU hit on 41 percent of its shots from the floor, and despite the solid free throw shooting numbers in the first half, ultimately finished at 68 percent for the game after going 2-of-9 from the charity stripe in the second half.


Last time out

BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Feb. 19, 2010) - Holding ETSU to its lowest first half point total of the season and leading by 16 at the break, the Campbell Camels poured it on in the second half, leading by as many as 33 points and ultimately taking a 79-57 win over the ETSU men's basketball team in Atlantic Sun Conference action Friday night at Gore Arena. ... In front of a regional television audience on CSS and before 3,023 fans - the second largest crowd in Campbell basketball history - the Camels forced 22 turnovers and outscored the Bucs 29-12 off those miscues. With the loss, the Bucs drop to 14-14 overall, 10-7 in A-Sun action, while the Camels improved to 18-9, 13-5. ... The first half got off to a terrible start for the Bucs, as the Camels hit four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes and the Bucs struggled to find an offensive rhythm. That combination led to a 22-6 lead for Campbell at the 10:32 mark of the first half. ... ETSU managed to cut the lead to 12 three different times later in the half, but ultimately still trailed by 16 at 35-19 to end the half. At the intermission, the Camels had shot a strong 52 percent from the floor and even more impressive 67 percent (6-of-9) from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Bucs hit on just 33 percent from the field before the break and was held to its lowest first half point production of the year.  ... After the break, the story was the same for the Camels. Forcing turnovers and hitting from outside, the Camels led by as many as 33 points at 76-43 with 4:05 left in the game. ETSU never recovered and could not get closer in the second half. ... For the game, Campbell shot 50 percent from the floor and 48 percent from 3-point range. The Camels also dished out 19 assists and collected 14 steals. ETSU outrebounded Campbell 40-29, but hit on just 39 percent of its shots for the game. ... The Bucs were led offensively by junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) with 14 points, while freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) added 11. Campbell got a game-high 19 points from guard Lorne Merthie, who finished 5-of-10 from 3-point range, while Miles Taylor and Junard Hartley added 13 and 10 points, respectively.


Jan. 30 not a good day for Bucs

For the second year in a row, the Buccaneers dropped a critical overtime game on Jan. 30 ... One year ago, the Bucs fell 82-72 at Jacksonville, in a game that Dolphins' guard Ben Smith hit a long range 3-pointer to tie the game in regulation and force the extra period ... The Bucs again found themsevles in an overtime game on Jan. 30, losing a nine-point lead in regulation with six minutes left and ultimately giving up a five-point lead in OT to fall to Lipscomb, 85-84.


Century mark not usual for ETSU defense

Giving up 100 points in the loss to Belmont (1/23/10) was not usual for the Buccaneers ... Before that game, the Bucs had not given up 100 or more point in over two years ... The last time it happened was on Dec. 15, 2007, when the Bucs lost to Syracuse 125-75 ... This season, the most points the ETSU defense had allowed was 85, in games at Arkansas and UAB ... For the year, the ETSU defense is giving up an average of just 67.0 points per game.


Jones steps up at the point

Coming off the bench to play the point guard position in the Bucs' last game against Lipscomb, sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) answered in a big way with a career high 17 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with .4 seconds left in regulation ... Jones played 23 minutes in the game and was 3-of-4 from 3-point range.


Williams bringing more offense to  the table

Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) has worked his way into the starting lineup thanks to more consistent play on the offensive end ... He has scored in double figures in 14 of his last 19 games, and recently matched his season high with 22 points against Stetson (2/6) ... He most recently scored 14 in the loss to Campbell (2/19) ... Currently, Williams is one of three Bucs averaging double figures scoring this year with 11.5 points per game.


Hubbard steps up game in 2009-10

Much has been written and reported about junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and his efforts to improve his offensive game, and those strides have led to some solid numbers ... He currently leads the Bucs with 14.3 points per game and 8.8 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted 13 double doubles on the year, his efforts began to pay off on the offensive end against Chattanooga back on Nov. 17 ... Setting career bests for points (26) and rebounds (13), Hubbard collected his first career double-double against the Mocs ... In addition, he hit his first 3-point shot in three seasons with the Bucs, and didn't stop there -- ultimately finishing with four long-range bombs on the night.


Record setting night from the arc for Bucs

Hitting on 11-of-14 shots from 3-point range against Arkansas, the Bucs put their name in a multiple of record books ... First, those numbers set a new school record for 3-point field goal percentage in a game with a 78.6 percent mark, breaking the previous record of 66.7 percent which had been done three times previously ... In addition, it was the best shooting effort in the "nation" this season for teams taking more than 10 shots in a game ... And it was the best percentage by a team in the A-Sun since Nov. 28, 1999 when UCF was 11-of-14 in a game against South Carolina state.


Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 137-45 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 percent ... The Bucs had won five straight at Memorial Center during the 2006-07 season before a loss to Belmont (1/2) ... The Bucs then rattled off 10 straight at home to stand at 15-1 on the Memorial Center floor that season, but fell to Belmont in the championship of the A-Sun Tourney... In 2007-08, the Bucs were 11-2 at Memorial Center ... In 2008-09, the Bucs were 11-2 at home ... This season, ETSU has actually struggled at home, going 7-5 in the Dome and 1-0 in Brooks Gym.


Sollazzo to honor Coy with number change

When ETSU's rising sophomore forward Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) was tragically killed in a car accident this summer, it left the entire Buccaneer community with a deep sense of loss ... As is often the case, those that are left to mourn have looked for ways to remember the Bucs' 6-foot-11 "Gentle Giant." ... For sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), who was Coy's roommate, the answer was simple ... Changing his jersey number from No. 20 to Coy's No. 43, Sollazzo will play the 2009-10 season to honor his friend and have that memory with him each night.


Big questions surround Bucs entering 2009-10

With the loss of seniors Courtney Pigram and Kevin Tiggs -- one of the most dynamic offensive duos in the country -- the Bucs have had a lot of questions to answer on the offenisve end of the floor this season  ... Having averaged 78.1 points a game a year ago, which ranked 21st nationally in all of Division I play -- ETSU has lost 44.0 of those points to graduation when one includes now departed senior Greg Hamlin in that trio ... In addition to the losses on offensive, the Bucs' 13-man roster includes just eight players who have experienced actual floor time in college ... The other five players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or walk-ons ... So far this season, those concerns have been warranted, as the team is averaging just 69.7 points per contest, 8.5 points off their average of a year ago.