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ETSU Captures A-Sun Men's Basketball Title With Win Over Hatters
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  02/22/2007
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Garfield Blair led Stetson with 11 points and 7 rebounds Thursday at...
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(Johnson City, Tenn.) East Tennessee State rushed out to a big lead and held off the Hatters, 84-49 Thursday night at the Memorial Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.  The win gave ETSU the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title. 

 

Garfield Blair led Stetson (11-18, 6-11) with 11 points.  Brad Nuckles paced ETSU (21-8, 15-2) with 19 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double against the Hatters this year. 

 

“We needed to shoot well, control the tempo, rebound, and be more physical than ETSU and I don’t think we did any of those,” head coach Derek Waugh said.  “It turned into a shooting contest for them.” 

 

The Bucs raced out to a 24-5 lead, thanks to a smothering defense that forced four turnovers and held Stetson to 2-for-12 shooting in the game’s first 10 minutes.  Nuckles carried the load offensively, putting in half of those 24 points on 4-for-5 shooting.  He hit all three of his free throws and canned a three-pointer. 

 

From there ETSU took a 38-16 lead into halftime.  The 16 points for Stetson were a season-low for a half.  The Hatters hit only four field goals, the highlight of which was a fast-break dunk from Blair that led to a three-point play. 

 

“At times, I thought we played better in the second half,” Waugh said. 

 

Stetson held East Tennessee State scoreless for the first 3:10 of the second half, but could shave only five points off the deficit.  Kris Thomas hit a three-pointer and a long two-point bucket to bring the Hatters within 38-21. 

 

Mike Smith caught fire for the Bucs soon after, burying two threes and five field goals overall for 12 second-half points.  He finished with 14. 

 

Stetson shot just 16% in the first half, hitting 4-for-25 field goals.  They were out-rebounded 22-11 and turned it over nine times. 

 

The Hatters conclude the regular season Saturday afternoon at Kennesaw State.  Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.  It was originally scheduled as a 2:00 start time. 



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