Johnson City, Tenn. (Dec. 8, 2001) - After a sluggish first half, East Tennessee State poured in 52 points in the second half to break open a close game, as the Buccaneers cruised to a 79-54 win over Radford in men's basketball action this afternoon. The win was the third in a row for ETSU (4-3) and broke a three-game losing streak to the Highlanders (4-6).
In a sloppy first half of action neither team could seem to get their offenses on track. Both squads shot 33.3 percent from the floor and combined to commit 25 turnovers. There were four lead changes and two ties during the first 20 minutes, with the largest lead a seven-point advantage for ETSU at the 6:01 mark on a layup by Ryan Lawson (Rogersville, Tenn.). Radford hung with the Bucs and tied the game on a dunk by Andrey Savtchenko with one minute to play in the half, but a free throw by Isaac Potter (Richmond, Va.) gave ETSU a 27-26 lead when the buzzer sounded.
A technical foul called on the Radford bench at the half gave ETSU a pair of free throws to start the second half. Dimeco Childress (Columbia, Tenn.) sank both of the opportunities for the first of what would be 17 points for him in the half, and the Bucs when on to score the first five points of the half, never surrendering the lead to the Highlanders for the rest of the game.
Radford trailed by only one with 14:29 left when B.J. Haigler put in a layup to make the score 36-35. Leading by three with 13:04 to play, East Tennessee State went on 14-0 over the next three and a half minutes that put the game out of reach. Childress scored eight of the points during the spurt, and with 9:30 left in the game the Bucs had a 54-37 lead.
Radford could not get ETSU's lead back under 10 points the rest of the way, and the Bucs outscored the Highlanders 10-0 with five minutes left to ice the win.
Childress ended up with 20 points, including hitting all 10 of his free throw attempts, to lead all scorers. It was the second straight game in which the Bucs have had a 20-point scorer. Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) added 18 points, while Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) had 12 points, nine rebounds and five steals for the Bucs. Radford had only one player in double figures, with Correy Watkins coming up with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Savtchenko led all rebounders with 11 boards for the Highlanders.
East Tennessee State will take the next week off for final exams before returning to action next Saturday, Dec. 15, when the Bucs will host James Madison at Freedom Hall. Tip off will be at 4:00 p.m.