Bucs to open A-Sun play Sunday against UNF
Junior forward Tommy Hubbard has posted four double-doubles in the last five games.
Junior forward Tommy Hubbard has posted four double-doubles in the last five games.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 29, 2009) -- Coming off an impressive road win over a Southeastern Conference opponent, the ETSU men's basketball team returns home Sunday to open Atlantic Sun Conference place against North Florida.

Tip is set for 4 p.m. inside the Memorial Center.

The Buccaneers used a record-setting performance to drop the Arkansas Razorbacks 94-85 on Friday evening. ETSU set a new school record for 3-point field goal percentage in a game, hitting on 11-of-14 attempts for a 78.6 percent clip. Those numbers were also the best in the nation so far this season for a team shooting more than 10 threes in a game.

ETSU got a game high 32 points from junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston), who continues his great play on both ends of the floor as he picked up his fourth double-double in five games. The Bucs also got strong performances from junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) with 21 points, while fellow junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) added a career high 18.

Despite the quality win, the Bucs must regroup and prepare for what is in many ways a more important game because of conference implications. ETSU will play both UNF and Jacksonville (Dec. 21) during the 2009 portion of the schedule before beginning A-Sun play in earnest at the start of the new year.

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

 

Buc bits

The ETSU men's basketball team won for the second time in a row on Friday night, dropping SEC foe Arkansas on the road 94-85 ... The Bucs (3-3), who are now 2-0 at home and 1-3 on the road this sesaon, return home to take on North Florida in their A-Sun Conference opener ... ETSU is currently in the midst of a six games in 12 days stretch that has included road trips to Chattanooga, Morgan State, Louisville and Arkansas, as well as home games against College of Charleston and North Florida ... ETSU has been without the services of preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) during this stretch, as he is nursing a knee injury In Smith's absence, junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) have stepped up their offensive production Hubbard has posted double-doubles in four of his last five games, which included a career best 32-point effort against the Razorbacks in the Bucs' last contest Meanwhile, Tubbs posted a career best 29 points against CofC and 21 against Arkansas, to go with nine rebounds ... Currently, Hubbard and Tubbs lead the team in scoring with 17.2 and 17.0 points per game, respectively.

 

The series against North Florida

The Bucs are 7-0 all-time against the Ospreys ... The two teams first started playing in 2005-06 when ETSU and UNF first joined the Atlantic Sun Conference ... In their last meeting, the Bucs had to hold on for a 67-64 win at North Florida back on Feb. 1, 2009. 

 

Last time out against North Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2009) - Overcoming its worst first half production of the season, the ETSU men's basketball team got a double-double performance from junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) to make up a 10-point halftime deficit and avoid an upset at the hands of North Florida, dropping the Ospreys 67-64 at the UNF Arena ... Smith posted 14 rebounds and a career high 24 points in the winning effort, while senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) pitched in 17. ... The first half was absolutely atrocious for the Buccaneers, as they committed 13 turnovers, had no steals or assists, and shot just 39 percent from the field. The result was ETSU's worst offensive first half of the year and a 33-23 advantage for the Ospreys at the break. ... However, in the second half the Bucs unwrapped their patented fullcourt pressing style and the result was a more up tempo game. ETSU ultimately made up seven points to make it 47-44 with 10:53 left in the game, and from there the Bucs took their first lead at 50-49 on a layup by Tiggs with 8:02 left. ... The Bucs ultimately moved out to a seven-point advantage with 1:45 left thanks to a 3-pointer by senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), but a pair of 3-pointers by the Ospreys ultimately spurred a frantic rally late to make it 65-64 with 14 seconds left. Smith then hit a pair of free throws to move the advantage to 67-64, an attempted 3-pointer by UNF's Cortez Riley missed the mark, and an offensive rebound by senior forward Greg Hamlin (Flint, Mich.) on a missed free throw by Smith with two seconds left iced the win.

Last time out

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Nov. 27, 2009) - Junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted a career high 32 points and collected his fourth double-double in the last five games, leading the ETSU men's basketball team to an impressive 94-85 road win over Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas Friday evening before 13,794 fans inside the Bud Walton Arena ... Along with Hubbard's warrior-like effort, ETSU got a career high 18 points from junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester), while junior transfer Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) pitched in his second straight 20-point effort with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor. As a team, the Bucs were impressive offensively, shooting 59 percent from the floor, 79 percent from 3-point range and 76 percent from the foul line en route to a 94-point effort. ... Along with the great offensive numbers, the Bucs out-rebounded the Hogs 36-23, which included a game-high 10 boards for Hubbard. The Bucs still managed to win the game despite the efforts of Arkansas guard Rotnei Clarke, who finished with 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting from 3-point range. In addition, Arkansas got 13 points each from Mike Washington and Jemal Farmer, while Stef Welsh pitched in 10 ...        After falling behind 19-12 with 14:28 left before the intermission, the Bucs found their offensive stride in a big way the rest of the half. ETSU outscored Arkansas 36-13 the rest of the way, shooting 57 percent (17-of-30) from the floor, 70 percent (7-of-10) from beyond the arc, and 100 percent (7-of-7) from the foul line, leading to a 48-32 halftime advantage ... The domination didn't stop on the offensive end in the first half, as the Bucs outrebounded the larger Hogs 20-11 on the boards. Hubbard finished with 19 points in the first half to go with six rebounds in leading the Bucs' attack ... In the second half, the Bucs managed to maintain a double digit lead until the 9:05 mark at 71-60, but a quick 5-0 burst by the Razorbacks made it 71-65 with 8:15 to go and the momentum seemed to be swinging in favor of Arkansas. However, a pair of 3-point buckets by Tubbs helped stem the tide and pull the Bucs back out to a 10-point advantage at 79-69 with 4:13 left in regulation ... The Razorbacks continued to try and cut into the lead, but the Bucs answered at the foul line.

 

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.

 

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 ... Already considered one of the best defenders in the A-Sun, Hubbard's hardwork is really paying off ... With a 32-point and 10-rebound effort in the win over Arkansas, Hubbard currently leads the Bucs with 17.2 points per game and 10.0 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted double-doubles in four of the last five games, his efforts began to

pay off on the offensive end against Chattanooga ... 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.

 

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 ... currently, Tubbs has eclipsed double-figure scoring in five of the Bucs first six games and is second on the team with 17.0 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 contributions from the bench.

 

Preseason polls pick Bucs middle of the pack

The ETSU men's basketball team was picked fourth by the Atlantic Sun Conference coaches and fifth by the league's media in preseason polls release Wednesday by the conference office ... The conference's two most recent tournament champions, ETSU (2009) and Belmont (2006-08) place fourth and fifth, depending on the poll. The Buccaneers edged out the Bruins for the spot from the coaches while the media gave the nod the Bruins. Both teams suffered tremendous losses due to graduation. ETSU must replace Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), one of the highest scoring duos in the nation a season ago.

 

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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