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Smith's 20/20 powers Buccaneers over FGCU, 84-65
Sunday, January 09, 2011
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2011) - Senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) produced an historic 20-point, 20-rebound effort and junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) set a new career high with 20 points as the ETSU men's basketball team dropped Atlantic Sun Conference foe Florida Gulf Coast 84-65 Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
According to the records available to the ETSU media relations office, Smith's effort was the first time an ETSU player has eclipsed 20 points and 20 rebounds since Feb. 14, 1959, when former Buccaneer great Tom Chilton posted 35 points and 25 rebounds against Wofford. Along with Sollazzo, the Bucs got 16 points from both senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) to pick up the win.
Smith's 20 rebounds was a career high for the senior.
"I can't ever remember coaching a player that has done that," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team won its fifth straight game and improved to 9-7 overall, 4-1 in A-Sun play. "Mike is just a special player and he showed tonight what we missed when he was not with us a year ago. This is a good win for us and I liked the balanced scoring with four guys in double figures."
With the loss, FGCU dropped to 3-11, 0-5 in league play.
The first half was highlighted by Smith's performance and a 13-0 run that put the Bucs up 15 points at 30-15 with five minutes left before the half. Smith finished the first 20 minutes with a double-double already in his pocket, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, Tubbs finished with a game-high 11 points in the first half thanks to a 3-of-7 effort from 3-point range.
ETSU shot 49 percent from the field in the first half while out-rebounding the Eagles 24-15. In addition, the Bucs held FGCU to just 33 percent shooting from the floor.
In the second half, FGCU got no closer than 13 points at 67-54 with just under six minutes left. From there, the Bucs pulled back ahead to enjoy their largest lead of the game at 82-60 with 2:29 remaining in the contest.
The Bucs shot 52 percent from the floor for the game and out-rebounded the Eagles by an impressive 44-29 margin. ETSU also held FGCU to just 35 percent shooting from the floor and a 28 percent clip from the 3-point arc.
Along with his 16 points, Tubbs also picked up nine rebounds for the Bucs.
For FGCU, Christophe Varidel had a team-high 12 points, while Kevin Cantinol and Anthony Banks had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bucs will return to action on Monday evening when they host A-Sun opponent Stetson at 7 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. For more on ETSU men's hoops, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoops link.