JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2006) - Senior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) scored a team-high 26 points and senior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) pitched in 22 to lead the ETSU men's basketball team past North Florida 99-83 Sunday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference play at the UNF Arena.
For the Bucs, the win is their 13th in last 15 games, and improves the team's record to 14-8 overall, 11-4 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Ospreys drop to 6-16, 3-12.
Along with Smith and Rhoda, three other ETSU players reached double figures. Senior forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago) pitched in 15 points, while junior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) netted 12 and junior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) collected 10. ETSU dominated in the paint as the Bucs bested UNF 39-29, with Nuckles, Smith, Sneed, Rhoda and Eryk Thomas (Fremont, Calif.), picking up at least six rebounds each.
In the first half, the Buccaneers wasted little time building a sizeable advantage. With a layup by senior forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago), the Bucs led 27-10 with just over 10 minutes left in the half. However, the Ospreys answered with a 10-3 run at that point to make it 30-20 before ETSU head coach Murry Bartow called timeout to stop the UNF momentum. From there, the Bucs went on the attack, outscoring the Ospreys 27-15 the rest of the way to lead 57-35 at the break.
After the intermission, ETSU built its advantage to as many as 27 points, but UNF used a 17-4 run to cut that lead to as little as 14 with just over 10 minutes remaining. From there, however, the Bucs shored up their defensive efforts and kept the Ospreys at bay to take the win.
The Bucs committed just five turnovers in the game and shot a strong 56 percent from the field. UNF shot 52 percent from the floor for the night.
ETSU returns home for its final two home contests of the regular season, beginning with Thursday night's meeting with Campbell at 7 p.m. For more on ETSU basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com.