JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (November 10, 2003) - Global Sports' Chris Davis sank three-straight free throws with seven seconds left to give his team an 85-83 lead, and East Tennessee State sophomore guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) watched his game-tying jumper rim out in the final seconds as the Buccaneers dropped an exhibition game contest Monday night at Brooks Gym.
Despite the defeat, ETSU first-year head coach Murry Bartow said he saw several positives in the game and expects his team to grow from the experience.
"Obviously, we are disappointed in the loss because when we play we compete to win," Bartow said. "But on the positive side, I saw a lot of encouraging things out of our team, like the fact that we shot over 50 percent from the floor, scored 83 points and had five players in double figures. On the negative side, we gave up 85 points and they shot over 50 percent from the floor themselves.
"When we made the decision to play a good team like this it was because we wanted to prepare for our season. This game will do that as we get ready for our season opener at Houston next week."
Indeed, Global Sports has proven to be a worthy foe against several of the nation's top college teams, picking up victories this preseason against the likes of Southern Miss and Louisiana State. However, the Bucs looked strong against their adversaries many times throughout the game, building a lead of as many as 11 points midway through the second half.
In fact, the Bucs led by eight points with just over seven minutes to go in the game when Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) sank a 3-pointer to make it 74-66 with 7:04 remaining. However, from that point Global Sports outscored the Bucs 16-9 to pull to within one point with 1:02 left in the game.
With ETSU leading 84-83, Davis attempted a long-range shot from the left wing and was fouled by Buccaneer senior Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.). Davis sank all three foul shots and Smith's runner in the lane could not find the mark.
Despite the loss, the Bucs did shoot well from the floor, hitting on 31-of-57 shots for a 54.4 percent shooting percentage. Five players reached double figures, with senior Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) netting a game-high 23 points. Smith and Wadood added 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Nuckles pitched in 11 and sophomore guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Va.) added 10.
For Global Sports, Jason Blair scored a team-high 19 points, while Calvin Warner collected 15.
ETSU will return to action in its season opener Nov. 21 at Houston with the tip scheduled for 8:30 p.m. (EST). The Bucs will remain in Texas for a Nov. 23 meeting with Bob Knight's Texas Tech Red Raiders, with that tip time scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (EST), before returning home for their season opener Nov. 25 against Mars Hill in Memorial Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m.