ETSU survives bad shooting night, drops UNF 56-51
Saturday, February 10, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2007) - In a game that was anything but pretty, the ETSU men's basketball team overcame 33 percent shooting and a sluggish effort in the paint to drop North Florida 56-51 in Atlantic Sun Conference play Saturday afternoon inside UNF Arena.


With the win, the Buccaneers improve to 19-8 overall, 13-2 in A-Sun action, while the Ospreys drop to 2-23 overall, 0-14 in league play. More importantly, the Bucs now hold a two-and-a-half game lead on second place Belmont, which lost to Lipscomb for the second time this season on Friday.


"It didn't look good, but we now have 19 wins and we're 13-2 in the league, so that's what matters," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team has won 11 of its last 12 games. "UNF has been getting really close to beating people, especially in this place. All you can say is it was a win."  

In the first half, ETSU suffered through its worst offensive 20 minutes of the season, hitting on just 25 percent of its shots and missing 12 of its first 13 attempts. Luckily, however, the Bucs defensive effort held UNF to just 30 percent shooting and ETSU used a 6-of-7 clip from the foul line to lead 20-19 at the break.


While the Ospreys manged to tie the game at 22 early in the second half, the Bucs quickly regained the advantage and actually never trailed after the break, holding on to a lead that never grew beyond nine points. While freshman guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) was the only Buccaneer in double figures with 10 points, it was sophomore guard Dante Williams (Romulus, Mich.) who came off the bench to hit a lay up and drop a pair of 3-pointers to give the Bucs an offensive spark. While the Ospreys cut the lead to just three points late in the game, ETSU hit just enough free throws down the stretch to get the win.


ETSU shot just 33 percent from the field, but held UNF to a 34 percent clip as well. While the Ospreys won the battle of the boards 40-33, the Bucs did force 20 turnovers.


While Smith led the way, senior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) finished with eight points and nine rebounds, and Williams ended the game with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting. Sophomore guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) suffered through his worst shooting night of the year, going 1-of-15 from the floor and 1-of-9 from 3-point range.


UNF was led offensively by 15 points from James Grimball and 14 from Chris Timberlake.


The Bucs will return to action for their final road game of the season Saturday evening at Kennesaw State, with tip set for 7:30 p.m. Fans unable to make the trip to Kennesaw State can watch the game via live video streaming at