JOHNSON CITY — The stench of losing had taken its toll on ETSU.
The motivated Buccaneers used scoring runs at the top of each half to key Monday night’s 70-56 non-conference win over James Madison at MSHA Athletic Center, ending a three-game slide of losses.
Isiah Brown had his best game of the season to lead the Bucs, scoring a season-high 23 points — keyed by a strong second half — adding nine rebounds and five steals.
“Obviously we got off to a great start,” said ETSU coach Murry Bartow. “Isiah Brown — best game of the year. He was sensational in just 20 minutes of action.”
Adam Sollazzo totaled 19, with Tommy Hubbard capping ETSU scoring with 13. The three seniors, Sollazzo, Hubbard and Brown, combined for 35 of the Bucs’ 51 attempts from the field and led to an improved effort by the offense.
“I think we defend well enough to win any game we play,” Bartow said. “Tonight we were a little better offensively and that’s what changed the dynamic of our team. Your seniors take most of your shots, I like that. … So much of our team is getting better offensively and much of that is our seniors getting a lot of shots.”
Sollazzo and Brown sparked the Bucs early, combining for the game’s first 11 points behind a tenacious defense to spot the visiting Dukes a double-digit deficit.
“Hitting that first big three definitely helped my confidence out,” said Sollazzo, who led the Bucs in