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Second half surge lifts Bucs past Carson-Newman, 81-56
Monday, November 09, 2009
The Buccaneers enjoyed a strong debut from junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.), who played his first game in the blue and gold and responded with a 17-point, eight-rebound effort. In addition, freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) posted 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high four steals.
"I thought there was a lot of good out there, but also some bad," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team won both of its preseason games by an average of 38.5 points. "Some of the disappointing numbers were our 18 turnovers and we continued to shoot poorly from the free throw line. The bright spots included winning by 25 points without our best player (Mike Smith), holding them to just 29 percent shooting, and shooting 50 percent ourselves.
"The beauty of the injuries we've had is that we've gotten to play a lot of guys and get them minutes. And I think Justin really showed what he's capable of tonight, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds even though he's probably just 80 percent with his ankle injury."
In the first half, the Eagles were able to hang in with the Bucs and trailed just 33-24 at the break. However, ETSU opened the second half with a 14-3 run to make it 47-27, and ultimately built its lead to as many as 30 points at 69-39 with just under nine minutes left in the game.
The Bucs were a disappointing 8-of-20 from the charity stripe (40 percent) for the game and were ultimately out-rebounded 45-44 by the Eagles. As for the good numbers, ETSU shot 50 percent from the floor, 39 percent from beyond the arc, and forced 24 turnovers on 13 steals.
For Carson-Newman, J.J. Wesley led the way with a game-high 25 points on 6-of-12 shooting from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Jordan Dixon pitched in 11 points and Quinche Dowdell had a game-high 11 rebounds.
ETSU will now prepare for its season opener, which will be Saturday at 4 p.m. against Appalachian State. The matchup with the Mountaineers will culminate Homecoming weekend on the ETSU campus, and a reunion of former Buc players is also planned. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.