Bucs, Lipscomb still set for 4 p.m. tip Saturday inside the Dome
Friday, January 29, 2010

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 29, 2010) -- With ominous weather approaching outside, the ETSU men's basketball team begins a treacherous two-game stretch Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center, as the Buccaneers host Atlantic Sun Conference rival Lipscomb at 4 p.m.

The Bucs (11-10, 7-3 A-Sun) enter the game tied for first place with Campbell and Jacksonville, while the Bisons sit just one game back of the league lead.

While severe winter weather is scheduled for the Tri-Cities this weekend, the Bisons arrived in Johnson City a day early and the game is set to tip at the scheduled time on Saturday.

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

Buc bits

Having moved back into a three-way tie for first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a win over Campbell, the ETSU men's basketball team continues its current three-game home stand with a visit from the Lipscomb Bisons Saturday at 4 p.m. ... The Bucs, 11-10 overall, 7-3 in league play, defeated the Bisons on a last second 3-pointer just over  a week ago in Nashville ... ETSU is currently 7-2 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 11 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 14.4 points per game, and Tubbs pitching in 13.5 a contest ... Williams is the only other ETSU player averaging double figures with 11.5 a contest.


The series against Lipscomb

The Bucs are 27-9 all-time against the Bisons, in a series that dates back to 1951, a time when both schools were not members of NCAA Division I ... ETSU won the last meeting between the two schools, 71-69 back on Jan. 21.


Last time against Lipscomb

 NASHVILLE (Jan. 21, 2010) - Sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with .4 seconds left to give the ETSU men's basketball team a thrilling 71-69 victory over Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun Conference action Thursday evening inside Allen Arena ... Jones came off the bench to play the point guard position and scored 17 points, but none were more important than the last three. Trailing 69-68 with 3.4 seconds left and the Bucs inbounding under their own basket, Jones dished the ball into fellow sophomore Isiah Brown (Miami), who tossed the ball back to Jones for the game winner ... The Bucs' defensive efforts were impressive, especially holding the league's leading scorer Adnan Hodzic to two points in the first half and a total of 13 for the game. Hodzic entered the game averaging 21.5 points, while his Lipscomb team began the night averaging 80.6 points a contest ... While Jones scored 17, junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) netted a game-high 18, junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) had 13, Brown scored 11, and junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) added 10. Brown also picked up 10 rebounds to collect his first double-double of the year ... The first half got off to an inauspicious start for the Bucs, as the Bisons hit on five of their first nine shots from behind the arc to build a 19-8 lead with 11 minutes left before the intermission. However, the Bucs responded with an impressive offensive run of their own, as sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers and eventually score eight points to spark the ETSU offensive attack ... In all, the Bucs' defense would hold Lipscomb to just one made 3-pointer over the next seven minutes and went on a 20-3 run to lead 28-22 with 4:29 left in the half. ETSU would ultimately outscore Lipscomb 29-11 over the final 11 minutes of the half and held a 37-30 edge at the break ... Most impressive about the first half was the Bucs' effort in the lane. ETSU outscored Lipscomb 18-2 in the paint and held Hodzic to just two points. ETSU shot 54 percent from the field in the first half and was 40 percent from beyond the arc, while forcing eight Lipscomb turnovers on four steals. Lipscomb hit on just 31 percent of its shots in the first half ... After the break, Lipscomb used the first eight minutes to slowly whittle away at the Bucs lead and managed to tie it after back-to-back 3-pointers by Michael Teller made it 47-47 with 11:32 left. The game was still tied at 52-52 when the Bucs went on a quick 7-0 run to make it 59-52, but Lipscomb responded with an 8-3 run thanks to five more points from Teller to get within two at 62-60 with 3:49 left ... Lipscomb continued to pressure and eventually took the lead with a 7-4 spurt that was capped by a layup from Josh Slater to make it 67-66 with 1:47 left in the game. It was the first lead for the Bisons since the 5:24 mark of the first half, but the Bucs regained the lead on a layup by Hubbard with 50 seconds left, only to have Slater hit a pair of free throws with 20.9 second left to make it 69-68 ... That set up the heroics by Jones. ... Slater and Teller finished with 16 points each, while Hodzic scored 13 and Jordan Burgason had 12.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 27, 2010) - Senior guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) hit a 30-foot 3-point basket with just under three minutes left in the game, sparking the ETSU offense and helping the Buccaneers surge to a 72-57 win over Campbell in Atlantic Sun Conference men's basketball action Wednesday night at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ... Prior to Davis' shot, the Bucs had looked on as the first-place Camels took an 18-point second half deficit and whittled away to make it 51-47 with 3:33 left in the contest. However, Davis' shot was followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and the Bucs never let the Camels' surge overtake them ... For the game, Tubbs led the way with a game-high 18 points, and he was joined in double figures by four other Buccaneers. Junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) picked up his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami) pitched in 12 points and eight boards, Micah Williams (Manchester) added 11 points, and Davis netted 10 ... For Campbell (12-7 overall, 7-3 A-Sun), Jonathan Rodriguez and Junard Hartley each had a team high 12 points, while Lorne Merthie added 10. ... In the first half, the Bucs used a strong man-to-man defense to force the issue and make for efficient opportunities on the offensive end. While Campbell pulled ahead 1-0 on a Rodriguez foul shot, the Bucs immediately took the lead on a layup by Davis and later built their advantage to as many as 17 at 34-17 with 2:14 left before the break. However, the Camels scored the final five points of the half to make it 34-22 at the break ... After the intermission, ETSU built its lead to as many as 18 points at 40-22 with 17:17 left in the contest. But Campbell responded with a methodical attack that outscored the Bucs 25-11 over the next 14 minutes to make it 51-47 with 3:33 left. Then Davis responded with his heroics. ... The Bucs shot 59 percent from the floor for the game and 50 percent from 3-point range. Campbell did force 20 ETSU turnovers, but the Bucs won the battle of the boards 33-26. ETSU's defense held the Camels to just 39 percent shooting for the game and 18 percent from 3-point range.


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.


New-look zone defense powers win streak

Since developing a new, attacking-style zone defense, the Buccaneers have won six of their last nine games ... The stats back up the zone's effectiveness, especially while winning three straight games from Dec. 21 to Jan. 9, as ETSU has held opponents to 35 percent shooting from the floor and just 59.3 points per game ... In addition, the Bucs were also outrebounding opponents by more than seven boards a game.


Smith status  still in doubt

Though he has played in four games this season and most recently scored a season high 14 points against UAB (12/4), senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) continues to battle nagging injuries ... This has left his status for the year in doubt, and he is likely headed toward a medical redshirt.


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 nine of his last 12 games ... Currently, Williams is one of three Bucs averaging double figures scoring this year with 11.5 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 14.4 points per game and 8.4 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted double-doubles in eight of the last 19 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.


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.


Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 134-41 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 6-2 in the Dome and 1-0 in Brooks Gym.


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.