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ETSU title hopes take setback in 68-56 loss to Stetson
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Able to score just one field goal in the final 6:08 of Sunday's game at Stetson, the Buccaneers watched as the Hatters outscored them 16-3 down the stretch to pull off an upset win and temporarily derail ETSU's regular season title hopes 68-56 in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Edmunds Center. The Bucs' 56 points was the lowest offensive output for the team this season.
With the loss, the Bucs drop to 14-10 overall, 8-3 in A-Sun play, while Stetson improves to 11-12, 7-4. Now ETSU will turn its attention to
"Not to simplify the game, but when you don't make shots you don't look good, plus we didn't play defense very well," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team watched a six-game winning streak come to an end. "I told our guys not to overreact to this one game. We've gone 6-1 over the last seven games and we will take that. Plus, we have
The first half was ugly for both teams, with the Bucs having trouble shooting and Stetson having issues simply holding onto the basketball. ETSU hit on just 39 percent of its shots in the first half, and the Bucs were just 2-of-8 from 3-point range. But despite the poor shooting, the Hatters' offense didn't capitalize, as the ETSU defensive pressure forced 16 Stetson turnovers and kept the Bucs in the game. Stetson's largest lead of the half was five, while the Bucs led by as many as three, but the two teams finished the first 20 minutes tied 32-32.
In the second half, both teams continued to battle back and forth with several lead changes and neither team holding any more than a four-point lead until the 6:08 mark. But after sophomore guard Mike Smith (
The Hatters out-rebounded the Bucs 41-29 and shot 43 percent from the floor on the night, 42 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Despite committing 22 turnovers, the Hatters still got a key 20-point effort from Garfield Blair and 10 from Eric Diaz to lead their offensive game.
Meanwhile, the Bucs were led by 15 points apiece from junior forward Kevin Tiggs (
ETSU will return home for an extremely important weekend series with