Hot shooting ETSU races past JU, 93-70
While the temperatures outside were frigid, East Tennessee State had a red hot shooting night as they raced past the JU men’s basketball team, 93-70, in Atlantic Sun Conference play.

The Bucs (6-7, 2-0 A-Sun) hit 11 3-pointers in the game, shot 56 percent from the floor in the game, including 18-of-28 in the second half. Micah Williams led ETSU with 17 points, connecting on 4-of-5 from behind the arc.

The lackluster defensive effort by JU overshadowed a career night from Ben Smith. The senior point guard tied his career high with 32 points, going for 27 in the second half.

Smith was 9-of-17 from the floor and 7-of-11 from behind the arc, tying his career high for 3-pointers in a game. He was the JU offense in the second half, scoring 27 of JU’s 38 points.

The Dolphins (1-7, 0-2 A-Sun) looked like they were up to the task against the defending A-Sun Tournament champions for most of the first half until a 10-0 run over the last four minutes turned a one-point JU lead into a nine-point deficit.

Capping the half was a wide open Williams 3-pointer at the buzzer, sending the Memorial Center into a frenzy.

“The last few minutes of the first half we didn’t do a good job on defense,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We gave up middle drives and they kick it out and hit open shots.”

After Smith opened the second half with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to six, the Bucs scored the next 12 points until Smith hit another 3-pointer three minutes later.

The Dolphins were never able to get back into the game, with the lead eventually ballooning to 35 before JU scored the last 12 points of the game, with Smith hitting three 3-pointers during the final 2:32.

ETSU dominated the Dolphins on the glass, 43-24, with 16 offensive rebounds to JU’s 14 defensive rebounds. The Bucs converted that into 29 second chance points.

When ETSU wasn’t getting second chance points, they were taking advantage of JU turnovers. The Dolphins turned the ball over 18 times, with ETSU scoring 27 points.

All of this happened while JU had its best shooting night from behind the arc, hitting 12-of-25. Smith had seven treys, with Travis Cohn hitting three.

The Bucs had four guys in double figures, with Justin Tubbs adding 16, Tommy Hubbard getting a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Jarvis Jones had 14.

Cohn was the only other Dolphin in double figures with 15 points. Russell Powell had seven assists and five points off the bench while Glenn Powell had a team-high six rebounds.

The Dolphins will get some much needed time off before hitting the hardwood against Buffalo on Dec. 29 in Orlando, Fla. In the UCF Holiday Classic.

NOTES: Ayron Hardy played only four minutes after suffering a broken nose in the first half…The Dolphins have started A-Sun play 0-2 for the first time since the 2006-07 season.