JOHNSON CITY (Jan. 30, 2012) – ETSU’s senior class decided three losses in a row was enough.
Senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) scored a season high 23 points, while fellow seniors Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and Tommy Hubbard (Boston) pitched in 19 and 13 points, respectively, as the ETSU men’s basketball team enjoyed a 70-56 victory over Colonial Athletic Association foe James Madison in non-conference hoops action Monday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
With the win, ETSU improves to 11-10 on the year, while James Madison drops to 10-13.
“We got off to a great start tonight and I think Isiah Brown played his best game of the year,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “We’ve been good enough defensively all year to win and beat anyone we play, but the problem has been we are offensively challenged. I think tonight we were just better on that end of the floor and we were much more efficient. I think we had the right guys taking shots too.”
The seniors were certainly impressive, led by Brown’s 23 points, nine rebounds and five steals in just 20 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Sollazzo grabbed five boards and another pair of steals to go with his 19 points, while Hubbard snatched five rebounds, collected four steals and scored 13 points.
Indeed, the Bucs put together a strong performance, picking up an impressive 18 steals in the game and forcing James Madison into 23 turnovers on the night. ETSU also out-rebounded the Dukes 30-25.
The Bucs shot an impressive 53 percent from the floor and outscored James Madison 42-20 in the paint, as well as 21-7 on points off turnovers.
ETSU’s much-maligned offense looked definitively better in the first half of this game, as ETSU raced out to a 15-point edge at 20-5 with 10:47 left before the intermission. Unfortunately for ETSU, the Dukes regrouped at that point and outscored the Bucs 19-11 the rest of the half to cut the deficit to seven at the break, with ETSU leading 31-24.
In the first half, ETSU shot 52 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range, while forcing James Madison into 14 turnovers on nine steals. The Bucs also held a 15-12 edge on the glass, and outscored the Dukes 20-8 in the paint.
After the halftime break, the Bucs pulled back ahead by 16 at the 16:22 mark, and the Dukes were unable to get closer than 10 the rest of the way.
For James Madison, Humpty Hitchens scored a team-high 20 points, while A.J. Davis added 11. No other Dukes’ player reached double figures.
The Bucs will return to A-Sun play for the rest of the season on Saturday, taking on Kennesaw State inside the KSU Convocation Center. Tip is set for 3 p.m.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2011-12 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.