Bucs falter, lose overtime shocker to Stetson, 74-71
ETSU's Travis Strong scores two of his 17 points Saturday.
ETSU's Travis Strong scores two of his 17 points Saturday.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

 

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 28, 2006) - Stetson guard Gabe McMillen was fouled with six seconds left in overtime and converted both foul shots, as the Hatters held on in the final moments to upset Atlantic Sun Conference foe ETSU 74-71 Saturday afternoon in front of 5,067 fans at Memorial Center.

 

With the win, Stetson improves to 3-16, 3-8, and snaps the Buccaneers' five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, ETSU drops to 11-8, 8-4 in A-Sun play.

 

"Obviously, this is a tough loss. There's no way to sugarcoat it," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "Players make plays and lately we've been able to make plays, but give Stetson credit because tonight they did. I liked our chances in overtime, but we just didn't have the energy we needed."

 

In a contest featuring 13 ties, Stetson used several offensive runs in both the first and second halves to stay in the game. The Hatters trailed 34-31 at halftime and by as many as six with just over 10 minutes left in the game. However, at that point Stetson enjoyed some more offensive efficiency and went on a 13-2 run, grabbing the lead at 52-51 and owning as much as a six-point advantage with 4:07 left in regulation.

 

With just over two minutes left, though, a 3-pointer by ETSU freshman guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), a steal seconds later by junior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.), and another three by Pigram tied the game at 66 with 2:08 remaining. From there both teams had their opportunities to score, with Stetson's Anthony Register missing a shot with two seconds remaining to take the game to overtime.

 

In the extra frame, the Bucs led twice on baskets by forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago) and guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.), but a 3-pointer by forward Eric Diaz gave Stetson back the edge at 71-70 with 2:43 remaining. Nuckles tied the game with a free throw at the 1:18 mark, but the Bucs could not capitalize on a defensive stop and one more offensive possession, as a Travis Strong (Memphis) 3-point attempt missed the mark with 26 seconds left, giving Stetson the ball and McMillen his opportunity to drive to the basket, earning the foul and winning the game.

 

For the Hatters, Register led four players in double figures with a game-high 19. E.J. Gordon and Garfield Blair each pitched in 11, while McMillen finished with 10. Stetson forced ETSU into 24 turnovers on the night, grabbing 11 steals.

 

ETSU got a team-high 17 from junior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) and 16 from Pigram, while Smith - who was honored with his own bobblehead doll giveaway prior to the game - scored just 10 points. It was the lowest point production for Smith since scoring 10 against Lipscomb back on Dec. 3, 2005. The Bucs edged Stetson in rebounding 37-36, but had just 10 assists and shot only 46 percent from the field.

 

ETSU returns to action Monday night at 7 p.m. hosting Mercer inside Memorial Center. Meanwhile, Stetson continues on the road to face Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. in Kennesaw, Ga.

 

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