Johnson City, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2002) - Dimeco Childress (Columbia, Tenn.) made his final game in Memorial Center a memorable one, as the senior guard scored 42 points in his final appearance in the Mini-Dome to lead the Buccaneers to a 91-77 win over Western Carolina in men's Southern Conference basketball action. The win was the sixth in a row for the Bucs.
After a closely contested first 10 minutes of the game East Tennessee State (16-9, 9-5 SoCon) made the first move in the contest. Leading 17-14 at the 11:39 mark, the Bucs went on a 21-9 run that gave them a 38-23 advantage with 5:21 left in the first half. Fourteen of the points came off the hot hand of Childress, who canned three treys in the run. ETSU then held its lead the rest of the first half and took a 45-31 lead into the locker room.
Turnovers plagued the Catamounts in the first half, as they coughed it up 15 times, leading to 19 points for the Bucs.
Western Carolina (11-14, 5-9 SoCon) could not make much of a dent in the ETSU lead in the second half until late in the game. With the Bucs holding a 70-55 lead with 6:22 left, WCU's Kelvin Martin got hot. He scored nine points of a 14-4 Catamount run, including hitting a pair of three-pointers. When Martin hit a jumper with 2:20 to play, Western found itself down by only five points at 74-69.
That would prove to be as close as the Cats would get, however, as ETSU hit 11 straight free throws in the final two minutes and Western missed on six straight shots, enabling the Bucs to pull away.
East Tennessee State shot 46 percent to Western's 42 percent. It was a turnover filled game, with Western turning it over 31 times and the Bucs 24 more. The Catamounts held a slim edge on the boards, 39-38.
Childress' 42 points are the third most by a Buccaneer, tying him with Tom Chilton who recorded 42 points against Middle Tennessee in the 1959-60 season. Childress also set a new school record for field goal attempts in a game with 27. He finished his day shooting 16-of-27, including going 5-of-11 from behind the three-point line. His 42 points ties him with Jason Conley of VMI for the most by a SoCon player this season.
In addition to Childress, Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) had 13 points and nine rebounds, while Ryan Lawson (Rogersville, Tenn.) and Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.) added 11 points. Wade also added eight assists.
Western Carolina was led by Martin's 23 points. Cory Largent added 12 points and seven rebounds, with Kelvin Wylie adding 11 points.
East Tennessee State will travel to Furman for its next game, taking on the Paladins on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Western Carolina will play at Wofford on Monday at 7:00 p.m.