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CollegeInsider.com Tournament Quarterfinal Recap - East Tennessee State 82 – Ohio 73

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Seniors Justin Tubbs and Mike Smith combined for 51 points to extend East Tennessee’s season by leading the Buccaneers to an 82-73 win over Ohio University in the quarterfinals of the CIT tournament in Johnson City at the MHSA Athletic Center on Tuesday night. On a night when one Mid-American Conference team, Buffalo, also lost in the CIT quarterfinals, Ohio’s loss made the night a fully miserable experience for the MAC, which also saw league member Kent State get bounced from the NIT field in a quarterfinal loss at Colorado.

Tubbs scored 19 of his game-high 27 points in the first half and hit 5 of 7 three-pointers in the half to give the Bucs an 11 point lead just before the break. Ohio narrowed an eight point halftime deficit to three with five minutes remaining – and took the lead 71-70 with 2:10 left in the game. But Smith, just as Tubbs had in the first half, carried the Bucs in the second half; he scored eight of his 24 points in the final minute, and three of his game-high 10 rebounds in the final four minutes.

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Smith was 9 for 16 from the field and 6 for 7 from the foul line for the Bucs. Tubbs was 10 for 17 from the field and 7 for 11 from three, he also added an impressive one-handed slam-dunk at the end of the first half – Tubbs is being promoted as a candidate for the Final Four slam dunk competition in Houston by the ETSU sports information department. Tubbs final two threes came early in the second half before he was whistled for his fourth personal, and spent long stretches of the late game on the bench. Adam Solazzo had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Bucs.

The Bobcats ended their season 19-16 and 9-7 in the Mid-America Conference. All of Ohio’s scoring leaders are seniors. DeVaughn Washington had 21 points and seven rebounds. Nick Kellogg hit Ohio’s go-ahead jumper, but those two were the last of his 15 points in the game. Tommy Freeman had 11 points in the loss.

Murry Bartow’s Bucs will host the Iona Gaels (24-11, 13-5 MAAC) in the CIT tournament semifinals on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. eastern at the MHSA Athletic Center. The Gaels defeated Buffalo 78-63 in another CIT quarterfinal on Tuesday night.

By David Minter
DFN Sports Staff Writer
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