Johnson City, Tenn. (Feb. 2, 2002) - Senior Dimeco Childress (Columbia, Tenn.) scored a career-high 35 points and East Tennessee State's defense held Georgia Southern to just 30 percent shooting as the Bucs ran away with a 100-65 victory over the Eagles in men's basketball action this afternoon in Memorial Center. The win gives the Bucs back-to-back SoCon wins for the first time this season.
East Tennessee State (12-9, 5-5 SoCon) shot over 51 percent in the first half and three times pulled out to a seven-point lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, only to see Georgia Southern (12-9, 5-5 SoCon) come back each time to either tie the game or take a one-point advantage.
A pair of free throws from Kashien Latham put the Eagles up 27-26 at the 10:01 mark, but that would prove to be the last time that Georgia Southern would have the lead during the game. After taking the lead, the Eagles turned the ball over on six of their next seven possessions. ETSU took advantage of the miscues and outscored the Eagles 13-2 over the next seven minutes to go up 42-29 on a pair of free throws by Isaac Potter (Richmond, Va.) at the 3:37 mark. Georgia Southern could not get back into it and Childress nailed a jump shot at the buzzer that put the Bucs up 51-37 at the half.
East Tennessee State did not let up at the start of the second half, starting the final 20 minutes with a 12-4 run that was started on a trey from Ryan Lawson (Rogersville, Tenn.). When Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) knocked down a pair of free throws at the 16:09 mark, ETSU had built a commanding 63-41 lead.
Georgia Southern could not get any closer than 18 points the rest of the way, that coming with 14:21 remaining in the game on a basket from Latham, who finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks for the Eagles.
Another three straight turnovers ended any hope for Georgia Southern, which totaled 27 turnovers, of getting back in the game. The Bucs took advantage all afternoon of the Eagle miscues, scoring 36 points off of the 27 turnovers.
ETSU finished off the job after Latham's free throws, outscoring the Eagles 24-6 to take a 87-51 lead on a trey by Childress with 7:30 left in the game.
Childress, who had scored only eight points in each of his last two games, shot 14-of-22 from the field, including hitting 5-of-7 three points attempts, during his record-setting afternoon. He also set a new career-high with six assists and matched his season-best with seven rebounds.
Freshman Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.) had another strong night as a starter, scoring 16 points, grabbing nine boards and handing out six assists. Fields added 15 points and Lawson had 10 points. Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.), the SoCon's leading rebounder, had nine boards and three blocked shots for the Bucs.
Julius Jenkins led Georgia Southern with 16 points, but scored only two in the second half. Sean Peterson was the only other player in double figures for the Eagles with 10 points.
ETSU will swing back into action on Monday, Feb. 4, when the Bucs will travel to Western Carolina for a 7:00 p.m. game.