Bucs hit the road for game at Morehead State
Junior guard Micah Williams has scored 22 and 18 points in his last two games, respectively.
Junior guard Micah Williams has scored 22 and 18 points in his last two games, respectively.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

MOREHEAD, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2009) -- The ETSU men's basketball team is prepped for its final tuneup prior to the start of Atlantic Sun Conference slate, as the Buccaneers take on Morehead State Friday evening inside Johnson Arena.

The Bucs (5-6) will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 61-57 home loss to Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorite Murray State last Saturday. Meanwhile, Morehead State

ETSU continues to be without the services of senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), and his status for the remainder of the season continues to be in question.

For more on Friday's game, click on the game notebook link above or read the game notes below.

 

Buc bits

The ETSU men's basketball team will be looking to bounce back in the win column when the Buccaneers face off with former Ohio Valley Conference foe Morehead State on the road Friday evening ... The Bucs have won four of their last seven games, including wins over SEC foe Arkansas on the road, 94-85, and the team's first conference win over the year 82-56 over North Florida ... However, the Bucs (5-6) have not fared well on the road this season, posting a 1-5 record ... Preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) remains doubtful  for the Morehead State game after missing the North Georgia game, even though he has played in just four games this sesaon, he most recently posted a 14-point effort in the loss at UAB ... In Smith's absence, junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) have stepped up their games … In fact, Hubbard has posted double-doubles in six of his last 10 games, which led his selection as A-Sun player of the week on Nov. 30 ... that week included a career best 32-point effort against the Razorbacks and a game-high 25-point effort in the victory over UNF ... Meanwhile, Tubbs posted a career best 29 points against CofC and 21 against Arkansas, to go with nine rebounds ... Currently, Hubbard and Tubbs share the team lead in scoring with 14.8 points per game.

 

The series against Morehead State

The Bucs and Eagles have met 50 times, with most of those games being played during ETSU's time in the OVC ... Morehead leads the series 26-24 and has won the last two meetings, including a 71-61 win over the Bucs last December.

 

Last time against Morehead State

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 30, 2008) - A post-Christmas swoon led to a bump in the road for the ETSU men's basketball team, as the Buccaneers relinquished a nine-point second half lead and fell to former Ohio Valley Conference foe Morehead State 71-61 inside Memorial Center ... Building a 42-33 lead over the first five minutes of the second half, the Bucs were not able to keep the Eagles down, as Morehead State produced a 14-2 run just minutes later to retake the lead, and then outscored ETSU 13-4 in the final three minutes to close out the contest. With the win, Morehead State snapped ETSU's current five-game winning streak, and the loss snapped a 19-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents for ETSU, a run that had spanned four seasons ... The Bucs were sluggish to start the game, as Morehead State built a lead of as many as six points at 20-14 on a 3-pointer by Maze Stallworth with just under 10 minutes left before the half. Morehead State then held the lead until the 5:46 mark, when a 3-pointer by Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) made it 26-24 in favor of ETSU. The Bucs would then hold the lead the rest of the half and take their largest advantage of the game when Courtney Pigram (Memphis) hit a pair of free throws with just 2.5 seconds left to make it 33-29 ... ETSU was able to remedy the slow start in many ways thanks to their defensive effort, as the Bucs held the Eagles to just 32 percent shooting in the first half and forced nine turnovers. Meanwhile, the Bucs hit on 48 percent of their shots from the floor. However, those good times did not last ... The Bucs opened the second half with a 9-4 run to take their largest lead of the game, but from there Morehead State used a 22-of-25 effort from foul line and out-rebounded the Bucs 41-28 to post the decisive statistics of the game and take the victory ... For the game, Morehead State's Leon Buchanan scored a game-high 23 points, while Stallworth joined him in double figures with 22 points, and Demonte Harper pitched in 12. Most impressive for the Eagles was forward Kenneth Faried's 17 rebound effort ... For the Bucs, senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) matched Buchanan's 23-point effort, while fellow senior Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) had 21 on the night.

 

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 12, 2009) - Despite overcoming an 18-point second half deficit and actually taking the lead late in the game, the ETSU men's basketball team could not get a basket when it counted in the final two minutes, dropping its first game at home this season in a 61-57 loss to Murray State Saturday afternoon at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ... The Buccaneers suffered through their worst offensive first half of the season and trailed 36-20 at the break. However, ETSU outscored Murray State - the preseason favorite in the Ohio Valley Conference - by a 37-25 clip in the second half and had a chance at the end ... Those players included Micah Williams, who finished with a game-high 18 points, while freshman guard Bruce Grimm (Rochester, Ind.) came off the bench to score 11 points and dish out three assists in the second half. Meanwhile, Murry State got a double-double effort from Ivan Aska with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Danero Thomas added 12 for the Racers as they improved to an impressive 8-1 on the season ... In the first half, the Bucs struggled out of the gate and never led. In fact, after pulling to within eight points a 19-11 with just over 10 minutes to go before the intermission, the Bucs looked on as the Racers outscored them 17-9 the rest of the way ... However, after Murray State scored the first basket of the second half on a layup by Aska, ETSU pulled to within 15 points at 42-27 over the next six minutes, and then went on a 18-11 run that made it 51-45 with five minutes left in the game ... After making a basket but then missing six straight foul shots, Murray State looked to be in trouble as the Bucs used a 9-0 spurt powered by a Jarvis Jones (Memphis) 3-pointer, as well as a steal and layup from sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), to make it 54-53 in favor of the Bucs with 2:06 left in the game. However, that would be ETSU's only lead of the contest, as Murray State answered by outscoring the Bucs 8-3 the rest of the way.

 

Smith's status still in doubt

Though he has played in four games this season and most recently scored a season high 14 points against UAB (12/4), senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) continues to battle nagging injuries ... This has left his status for this week -- and the rest of the year -- still in doubt ... No decision has been made at this point on whether Smith will redshirt this season or whether he will attempt to return to the floor this year ... Smith has been out of practice the last few days.

 

Williams bringing more offense to the table

Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) has worked his way into the starting lineup thanks mainly to back-to-back strong efforts on the offensive end ... Against North Georgia, Williams posted a career high 22 points in leading the Bucs to the win, and he followed that effort with an 18-point night against Murray State ... Currently, Williams is one of three Bucs averaging double figures scoring this year with 10.4 points per game.

 

Hubbard steps up his game, averaging

double-double

Much has been written and reported about junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and his efforts to improve his offensive game, and those strides most recently led to being selected A-Sun Player of the Week one week ago ... Already considered one of the best defenders in the A-Sun, Hubbard posted a 32-point and 10-rebound effort in the win over Arkansas and dropped in another game-high 26 in the win over UNF ... He currently leads the Bucs with 14.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted double-doubles in six of the last 10 games, his efforts began to pay off on the offensive end against Chattanooga back on Nov. 17 ... Setting career bests for points (26) and rebounds (13), Hubbard collected his first career double-double against the Mocs ... In addition, he hit his first 3-point shot in three seasons with the Bucs, and didn't stop there -- ultimately finishing with four long-range bombs on the night.

 

Record setting night from the arc for Bucs

Hitting on 11-of-14 shots from 3-point range against Arkansas, the Bucs put their name in a multiple of record books ... First, those numbers set a new school record for 3-point field goal percentage in a game with a 78.6 percent mark, breaking the previous record of 66.7 percent which had been done three times previously ... In addition, it was the best shooting effort in the "nation" this season for teams taking more than 10 shots in a game ... And it was the best percentage by a team in the A-Sun since Nov. 28, 1999 when UCF was 11-of-14 in a game against South Carolina state.

 

Tubbs getting it done for the Bucs

When junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) transfered out of the University of Alabama and came to ETSU, many expected the athletic guard to provide an immediate impact on the offensive end of the floor ... This has been the case ... Against Charleston, Tubbs posted a game high and career high 29 points in the Bucs win over Charleston (11/25) ... He followed that effort up with 21 points against Arkansas, and a game high 22 points in the loss to Tennessee  ... currently, Tubbs has eclipsed double-figure scoring in six of the Bucs first eight games and is second on the team with 14.8 points per game.

 

Sollazzo steps up on night ETSU honors Coy

Before the start of the Bucs' Homecoming game against Appalachian State (11/14), the ETSU community honored the memory of former center Seth Coy, who died in a car accident last summer ... His former roommate and friend, Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), now wears Coy's No. 43 jersey and against the Mountaineers he played inspired basketball ... Sollazzo set a career high with 13 points and hit two critical foul shots in the final seconds to get the win.

 

Bench play critical in win over Mountaineers

With only 21 points of offensive production from its starting five on Saturday, the Bucs got a huge lift from its bench against the Mountaineers ... All three ETSU players to reach double figures -- Adam Sollazzo (13), Justin Tubbs (11) and Sheldon Cooley (11) -- all came off the bench, and the Bucs got a total of 41 from the reserves as a whole ... With injuries costing the Bucs several offensive weapons, look for ETSU to continue to count on the bench.

 

 

 

 

Bucs offering families "value" for attending games

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 28, 2009) - With the considerable expense of entertainment options today and the difficult economic times faced by many local families, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics in cooperation with Fun Expedition™ Family Center of Johnson City are teaming up to make it more affordable than ever for families to attend Buccaneer basketball games during this 2009-10 season ... The Fun Expedition™ Family Pack and the Fun Expedition™ Family Zone will provide ETSU fans with a pair of options to make attending ETSU basketball games easier on the pocketbook. In fact, the program will offer tickets for free to children 10 and under (with the purchase of an adult ticket), while also offering discounts of more than 50 percent on packaged ticket deals ... Below are specific details of how each of these two programs will work:

           -- Fun Expedition™ Family Packs: These special family packs will contain 4 bronze level tickets (located in sections C and E), a concessions coupon for FREE popcorn, and a coupon from FUN EXPEDITION™. The total cost of one pack is $20, which is a savings of well over 50 percent on the regular cost of admission (reserved single seats are $10 each).

           -- Fun Expedition™ Family Zone: In addition to the family pack option, the Fun Expedition Family Zone will provide kids 10 and under a FREE Blue Level ticket (located in sections B and F) with the purchase of an adult Blue Level ticket. The free kids' tickets will be available to the first 900 fans, and these special family tickets can be purchased at the booth located between Memorial Center and Brooks Gym. Parents with more than two children will be able to get as many as four FREE tickets with the purchase of two regular-priced tickets.

 

 

Big questions surround Bucs entering 2009-10

With the loss of seniors Courtney Pigram and Kevin Tiggs -- one of the most dynamic offensive duos in the country -- the Bucs have a lot of questions to answer on the offenisve end of the floor this season  ... Having averaged 78.1 points a game a year ago, which ranked 21st nationally in all of Division I play -- ETSU has lost 44.0 of those points to graduation when one includes now departed senior Greg Hamlin in that trio ... In addition to the losses on offensive, the Bucs' 13-man roster includes just eight players who have experienced actual floor time in college ... The other five players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or walk-ons.

 

Big questions surround Bucs entering 2009-10

With the loss of seniors Courtney Pigram and Kevin Tiggs -- one of the most dynamic offensive duos in the country -- the Bucs have a lot of questions to answer on the offenisve end of the floor this season  ... Having averaged 78.1 points a game a year ago, which ranked 21st nationally in all of Division I play -- ETSU has lost 44.0 of those points to graduation when one includes now departed senior Greg Hamlin in that trio ... In addition to the losses on offensive, the Bucs' 13-man roster includes just eight players who have experienced actual floor time in college ... The other five players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or walk-ons.

 

 

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