JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2012) – Using a first half scoring surge, the ETSU men’s basketball team built a 19-point halftime lead and went on to take a 72-58 win over Jacksonville in Atlantic Sun Conference men’s basketball play Saturday afternoon at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
With the win, the Buccaneers improved to 9-7 overall, 4-2 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Dolphins dropped to 2-15, 0-6.
“It’s a good win any time you win on the road – especially in conference play,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “The key for us was the first half and building that big lead. I thought we made some big shots down the stretch when they made their run in the second half.”
The Bucs got a game-high 18 points from senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), while fellow senior guard Tommy Hubbard (Boston) provided a 16-point, nine-rebound effort. Along with that duo, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) had 13 points, and junior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) netted 11.
In the first half, ETSU led just 15-14 with 12 minutes left before the break, but closed out the first 20 minutes on a 23-5 run to take a 38-19 lead into the locker room.
The Bucs shot a blistering 55.2 percent from the floor in the first half, while holding the Dolphins to just 36.4 percent shooting and forcing 10 turnovers by JU. ETSU got a team-high 12 points from Hubbard in the first half, as the Bucs held a 26-12 advantage on points in the paint and a 12-2 edge on points off turnovers.
In the second half, ETSU led by as many as 21 points at 60-39 with 8:38 left. However, Jacksonville managed to cut into that deficit and made it an 11-point game at 63-52 with 4:04 remaining.
ETSU answered at that point with a 6-0 run to make it 69-52 and ended any JU chance for a rally.
For the game, ETSU shot 55 percent from the floor and forced Jacksonville into 19 turnovers on 10 steals. The Bucs outscored JU 44-28 in the paint, and 23-17 off turnovers. The Dolphins shot 43 percent from the floor for the game.
For JU, three players led the way with 10 points apiece, they were Aloys Cabell, Keith McDougald, and Evin Graham.
The Bucs will continue their current Florida road swing on Monday evening, taking on North Florida at 7 p.m. inside the UNF Arena. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2011-12 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.