Bucs look to end homestand on positive note Monday against Belmont
Sunday, January 31, 2010

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 1, 2010) -- In need of a win to stay in the hunt for the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title, the ETSU men's basketball team will host rival Belmont Monday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The Buccaneers, 11-11 overall, 7-4 in A-Sun play, can stay one game back of first place Jacksonville with a victory over the Bruins. However, the Bucs have their work cut out for them, as Belmont is coming off a 100-89 victory over ETSU just over a week ago.

For more on Monday's game, click on the game notes above or read the game notes below.


Buc bits

With a tough one-point overtime loss at the hands of Lipscomb Saturday afternoon, the ETSU men's basketball team must regroup and rebound to stay in the hunt for an Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title Monday night against rival Belmont ... The Bucs, who lost 100-89 to Belmont just over a week ago in Nashville, will have to mentally recover after giving up the lead and the game with only four seconds left in overtime against the Bisons ... ETSU, 11-11 overall, 7-4 in league play, remains just one game back of first place in the loss column ... ETSU is currently 7-3 at home this season, but is just 4-8 on the road this year ... Preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) remains doubtful  for the  Lipscomb game after having missed the Bucs last 12 contests, and is likely headed toward a medical redshirt season ... In Smith's absence, junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston), along with junior guards Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) have stepped up their games In fact, Hubbard has posted double-doubles nine times this season ... When he was picked A-Sun Player of the Week on Nov. ,30, he posted a career best 32-point effort against the Razorbacks and a game-high 25-point effort in the victory over UNF ... Meanwhile, Tubbs posted a career best 29 points against CofC and 21 against Arkansas, to go with nine rebounds ... Currently, Hubbard and Tubbs lead the team in scoring, with Hubbard averaging 14.7 points per game, and Tubbs pitching in 13.6 a contest ... Williams is the only other ETSU player averaging double figures with 11.6 a contest.


The series against Belmont

The Bucs and Bruins have met 17 times in their histories, with the Bucs trailing the series, 8-9 ... The Bucs were a perfect 5-0 against Belmont prior to 2005, when ETSU joined the Atlantic Sun Conference ... Since that time, ETSU is 3-9 against Belmont ... In fact, three of those games have gone to overtime, with ETSU going 1-2 in those contests, ... The last meeting between the two was an 100-89 Belmont win just over a week ago.


Last time against Belmont

NASHVILLE (Jan. 23, 2010) - One year ago, the ETSU men's basketball team managed to solve the riddle of Belmont with two wins in three meetings. In the first matchup of the 2009-10 season between the two perennial Atlantic Sun Conference contenders, the confusion returned for the Buccaneers ... Belmont sank 14 3-pointers, shot a blistering 51.9 percent from 3-point range, and connected on an equally impressive 55.1 percent from the field as the Bruins dropped the Bucs 100-89 inside the Curb Event Center. ... Coupled with Campbell's win over Lipscomb earlier in the day, the Bucs (10-10 overall, 6-3 A-Sun) fall one game back in the A-Sun standings and are tied with Jacksonville for second place with three losses each. Meanwhile, Belmont improved to 11-9 overall, 6-4 in league play. ... The game could have been ugly as Belmont led by as many as 32 points with 11:44 left in the second half, but the Bucs did battle to the end and used a commendable effort in the final four minutes to make it a respectable 11-point loss. ... Belmont's 100 points was the most scored by an ETSU opponent all season. The previous high was 85 points against Arkansas and UAB. ... While ETSU scored a season high 67 second half points, the first half was another Belmont nightmare for the Bucs, whose trapping zone defense was shredded for eight 3-pointers by the Bruins in the first 20 minutes of play. In all, Belmont shot 53.3 percent from beyond the arc, 52.4 percent from the field, and built a lead of as many as 23 points before going to the halftime break up 44-22 ... ETSU's offense was as atrocious as the defense in the first half, as the Bucs shot just 26.9 percent from the field and a dismal 42.9 percent from the foul line. On the boards it wasn't much better for ETSU, as Belmont outboarded the Bucs 22-13 ... For the game, Belmont held a 42-28 edge on the boards but committed 18 turnovers. The Bruins also set school records for free throws attempted (50) and free throw makes (32). ... ETSU shot 46 percent for the game and 41 percent from 3-point range, and only turned the ball over nine times ... The Bucs were led offensively by junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) with 21 points, while junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) added 18, freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) netted 17 and junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) pitched in 13.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 30, 2010) - Lipscomb guard Josh Slater scored a career high 35 points and fellow guard Jordan Burgason hit a jumper with four seconds left in overtime to give the Bisons a hard fought 85-84 overtime victory over the ETSU men's basketball team in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Slater and Burgason, who pitched in 13 points, were joined in double figures by forward Adnan Hodzic, who posted a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. The Bisons' win avenged the Bucs' victory over Lipscomb just over a week ago, when ETSU guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) hit a last second 3-pointer in regulation to lift the Bucs to a 71-69 win in Nashville. ... Lipscomb's win overshadowed some quality performances for the Bucs, as junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted his 10th double-double of the year with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami) had his second double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 boards. They were joined in double figures by junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.), who finished with 16 points, while fellow junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) had 13. ... The Bucs led for most of the game, though they never led by more than nine points. However, that largest lead of the contest came with just 6:17 left in the game. The Bucs built that lead thanks to an 8-2 offensive spurt that was capped by an unlikely 3-pointer from 6-foot-8 freshman forward Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) which made it 67-58 in favor of the Bucs. ... However, that lead was short-lived, as Lipscomb answered with a 12-0 run of its own over the next two minutes to take a 70-67 lead with 4:09 left in the contest. From there, the Bucs pulled back ahead by two at 72-70 on a layup by Hubbard with 3:09 left. From there, Slater hit two free throws to tie it at 72, followed by 1-of-2 trips at the line for both ETSU's Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) and Slater that left it 73-73 with just under a minute left. ... Both teams had opportunities to take the lead in the final seconds, but the game went to overtime when Slater's 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation missed the mark. ...           In overtime, ETSU jumped ahead by five points at 78-73, but Lipscomb responded to tie it at 80 with a 7-2 run. From there Hubbard hit a pair of free throws followed by a 3-pointer from Burgason that made it 83-82 in favor of Lipscomb with 29 seconds left. Hubbard responded once again with a layup to give the Bucs the lead at 84-83 with 19 seconds left, but then Burgason answered with the game-winning jumper from just inside the arc with four seconds on the clock. ...             Hubbard took a 3-pointer at the buzzer but the shot missed the mark. ... ETSU shot 46 percent from the floor, while Lipscomb hit on 43 percent from outside. The Bisons held the edge on the boards 47-40, and both teams finished with 16 assists each.


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 ... Just two days ago, 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 68.8 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 polayed 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 mainly to back-to-back strong efforts on the offensive end ... Against North Georgia, Williams posted a career high 22 points in leading the Bucs to the win, and he followed that effort with an 18-point night against Murray State ... He has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 13 games ... Currently, Williams is one of three Bucs averaging double figures scoring this year with 11.6 points per game.


Hubbard steps up game, averaging near double-double

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 ... Already considered one of the best defenders in the A-Sun, Hubbard posted a 32-point and 10-rebound effort in the win over Arkansas and dropped in another game-high 26 in the win over UNF ... He currently leads the Bucs with 14.7 points per game and 8.6 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted double-doubles in 10 of his last 21 games, 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 136-43 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 is 6-3 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 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.