JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 9, 2005) - The East Tennessee State University men's basketball team began a five-game stretch inside Memorial Center Wednesday night, facing off against nearby Southern Conference rival Appalachian State. However, things did not go as the Buccaneers had planned.
Appalachian State shot 53 percent from the floor and 57 percent from 3-point range, scoring 52 second-half points and dropping their SoCon North Division rival, 95-73. It was the second straight win in the series for the Mountaineers, who dropped the Bucs 81-79 in
"Give Houston Fancher credit, this Appalachian State team is playing at a completely different level right now," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team dropped to 6-16 overall, 2-10 in SoCon play. "They are a much different team than they were two weeks ago, and when you hit as many threes as they are right now, they are an extremely dangerous team."
The Mountaineers (12-9, 6-5) were led in scoring by guard Nathan Cranford, who netted a game-high 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
ASU wasted little time making a statement in the first half, roaring out to a 10-0 lead at the mark. ETSU battled back to cut the lead to five at 26-21 with 8:45 remaining, but the Mountaineers pushed their advantage back out to as many 12 points and eventually led by eight, 43-35, at the intermission.
In the second half, it was all Mountaineers. ASU methodically built their advantage from the start and enjoyed its largest lead of the game at the mark, 84-58.
For the game, the Mountaineers out-rebounded the Bucs 40-32, forced 17 ETSU turnovers, and dished out 21 assists. The Bucs hit on just 41 percent of their shots from the floor, while hitting a respectable 43 percent from 3-point range.
The Bucs were led by sophomore guard Travis Strong (
Appalachian State will return home to face