Tubbs, Smith and Williams combine for 59 points in win
DAYTON, Ohio (Dec. 1, 2010) - Behind the brilliant offensive performances of senior guards Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.), Micah Williams (Manchester) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), the ETSU men's basketball team began a month-long road trip in style, handing Atlantic 10 Conference member Dayton its first non-conference home loss since 2005 with a 73-68 win Wednesday night inside the UD Arena.
Tubbs posted a career-best seven 3-pointers on way to a season high 26 points, while Smith pitched in 17 points and Williams added 16. Smith's 7-of-8 effort from the foul line in the final 42 seconds iced what was a two-point game at 66-64.
"This is a huge win and I can't say enough about our guys," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team improved to 3-2 on the year. "Dayton had won 40 straight non-conference home games, so to come in here and make this happen is special. Justin, Mike and Micah really played well for us tonight. That's what seniors do."
Dayton (5-2) was held to just 33 percent shooting on the night, while the Bucs hit on 48 percent from the field - including an impressive 41 percent mark from beyond the arc. The Bucs also held their own on the boards against a solid rebounding squad, as the Flyers held just a 41-39 edge in the paint.
The Bucs raced out to an early 17-3 lead over the first five minutes, as Tubbs and Smith combined to sink three straight 3-pointers and ETSU's zone defense stymied the Flyers' offense. However, with the score 22-8, Dayton woke up in a big way, hitting six straight 3-pointers and holding the Bucs scoreless during an 18-0 run that made it 26-22 with 7:24 left before the intermission.
The Flyers went on to hit two more of their nine first half 3-pointers and led by as many as nine with 4:14 left before the break, but the Bucs managed to claw their way back in it thanks to another pair of 3-pointers from Tubbs to make it 38-33 at the half.
In the first half, the Bucs shot 50 percent from 3-point range, but Dayton bettered them with a 52.9 percent clip from beyond the arc. Otherwise, it was a statistical toss up, with ETSU shooting 42.3 percent from the floor and Dayton hitting on 40 percent from the floor.
At this point, Williams took over.
Scoring 10 straight points in the opening minutes of the half, Williams' solo attack made it 43-40 with 16:48 left and forced a Dayton timeout. The break didn't help the Flyers stop the Bucs' momentum, as Tubbs then got back into the action by hitting another two 3-pointers, and a layup by forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) finished off an 18-2 run that put the Bucs back up 51-40 with 13:46 left in the game.
But just as in the first half, Dayton responded to the Bucs' offensive rush with a pair of threes from Chris Johnson and enjoyed an 8-0 run to make it 51-48 with just over 10 minutes left.
ETSU weathered that storm and slowly built a lead of as many as nine at 64-55 with 1:35 left, but Dayton put the Bucs at the line. Poor foul shooting down the stretch allowed the Flyers to get to within two at 66-64 with 44 seconds left, but at that point Smith would hit 7-of-8 foul shots and ETSU got the defensive stops it needed to get the win.
For Dayton, Chris Johnson led the way with 15 points, while Juwan Staten added 14.
The Bucs will return to action Sunday, as they open Atlantic Sun Conference play at USC Upstate. Game time is set for 2 p.m. in Spartanburg, S.C.
For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.