JOHNSON CITY (Feb. 25, 2012) – With its three seniors scoring in double figures and junior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) posting a game-high 23 points, the ETSU men’s basketball team made sure 2012 Senior Day was remembered fondly, leading from wire-to-wire and dropping Florida Gulf Coast 84-71 Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Along with Dubose, senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) scored 19 points on the night and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career thanks to a free throw with 1:09 left in the game. Meanwhile, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) netted 20 points and senior guard Tommy Hubbard (Boston) pitched in 15.
With the win, the Buccaneers picked up their third straight victory and improved to 16-13 overall, 10-8 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, FGCU dropped to 13-16 overall, 8-10 in league action.
“We’ve played pretty decent the last three games and are on a good run,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team earned a No. 4 seed in next week’s conference tournament and will meet No. 5 seed North Florida at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 inside Mercer’s University Center. “Anytime it is senior day you want your seniors to play well, and they did that in this game.
“Marcus Dubose continues to play well, and as a team it’s our hope to carry this momentum into the conference tournament next week.”
For the game, ETSU shot 51 percent from the floor and 54 percent from 3-point range (7-of-13). The Bucs also forced FGCU into 20 turnovers and collected 16 steals on the evening.
The Bucs threw the first punch, scoring the initial 12 points of the game and never relinquished the lead the rest of the way. FGCU would get as close as nine at 27-18, but ultimately trailed 40-26 at the break.
After the intermission, ETSU pulled away to hold an advantage of as many as 22 points at 66-43. The Eagles never surrendered the game though, and battled back to make it 78-69 with a minute left in the contest. However, from there ETSU pulled away for the 13-point victory.
For FGCU, four players reached double figures with Bernard Thompson leading the way with 14 points. The Eagles will be the No. 6 seed in next week’s tournament, taking on No. 3 seed USC Upstate on Thursday evening.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball for the remainder of the 2011-12 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.