JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 22, 2002) - Setting a school record for margin of victory, the East Tennessee State University men's basketball team raced past Old Dominion Athletic Conference foe Guilford College by a margin of 67 points in a 104-37 victory Friday night in the season opener for both teams at Memorial Center.
ETSU - a preseason pick to win the Southern Conference North Division - had seven players score in double figures and held the Quakers to just 13-of-49 shooting from the floor (28.6 percent) en route to breaking a 12-year-old record for margin of victory set in a 64-point win over Eckerd College in 1990-1991 (112-48). In addition, Guilford's 37 points of offense was the lowest scoring total for an ETSU opponent since the Bucs held Liberty to just 30 points in 1980-81.
True freshman forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.), who started his first collegiate game due to the absence of junior forward Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) because of a death in his family, showed few signs of nerves in the debut and registered a double-double effort with 12 points and 13 rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
Along with Nuckles, sophomore guard James Anthony (Brandon, Fla.) scored a game-high 15 points, while sophomore guard Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.) poured in 14 points. Meanwhile, senior guard Ryan Lawson (Rogersville) went 3-of-7 from 3-point range and fellow senior Shannon Huffstetler (Mount Holly, N.C.) was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field on way to scoring 13 points each. Junior forward Jerald Fields and true freshman guard Tim Smith wrapped up the double-figure scorers for the Bucs with 10 points each.
The Bucs and Quakers found themselves tied 5-5 at the 18:22 mark of the first half, but ETSU's offense found its stride over the final 18 minutes of the first half, outscoring Guilford 45-10 the rest of the way. With a 50-15 halftime lead, ETSU cruised to the victory in the second half.
As a team, ETSU (1-0) shot a blistering 58.1 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Quakers 46-25. The Bucs' defensive effort produced 34 Guilford turnovers and ETSU gave the ball up just 12 times.
The lone bright spot for Guilford (0-1) was freshman Sasha Kovacevic, who garnered 12 points and two rebounds.
ETSU continues its 2002-'03 non-conference slate Sunday when the Bucs travel to face Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina at 3 p.m. The Gamecocks will be opening a new arena - The Carolina Center - and a sellout crowd of over 17,000 is expected at the game.