Buccaneers play well, but Vanderbilt prevails, 86-75
Junior forward Zakee Wadood battles for position Wednesday night against Vanderbilt
Junior forward Zakee Wadood battles for position Wednesday night against Vanderbilt

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 4, 2002) -- East Tennessee State kept the game close Wednesday night against Vanderbilt, but could not overcome the Commodores in a 86-75 Buccaneer loss from Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tenn.

ETSU falls to 1-3 while Vanderbilt raises their record to 4-1 on the young season. The Commodores have now won all six games in the series with the Buccaneers, dating back to 1983.

The Commodores came out in the first half with some early jitters through the majority of the first half, but were able settle into their game, which includes an up-paced offense and an aggressive defense.

The second half would be a similar tale to the first in that the Commodores had to weather an early offensive storm by the Buccaneers to pull away late. The Buccaneers cut the lead to 53-49 with 12:43 left in the game, but the Commodores were able to stretch the lead out again and really never give them an opportunity to get back into the contest.

Buccaneer senior guard Ryan Lawson (Rogersville) tied a game-high with 18 points on 7-13 from the floor, including 4-9 from three-point range. Sophomore guard Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.) kept up his hot play to begin the season, adding 14 points for the Bucs. Junior forward Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) was the third Buccaneer to score in double-figures, contributing 11 points for ETSU. Junior forward Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) had a game-high five steals, a team-high seven rebounds and tied with Lawson and freshman point guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) with a team-high three assists.

Commodore center Brian Thornton tied a personal best with 18 points, while also grabbing eight rebounds and blocking two shots. Vandy center David Przybyzewski finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots in 19 minutes of action.

This marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Buccaneers. ETSU returns to action Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. against UNC-Asheville from Memorial Center in Johnson City.

ETSU-Vanderbilt Postgame Quotes

East Tennessee State Head Coach Ed DeChellis

"The problem that has reoccurred in our loses is that we lose our poise. During a span of three or four minutes we go from one up to four to six points down. We have to get over the hump. That's our achilles heel. When someone makes a run at us we don't have the poise on the floor to work through the situation."

"Once again we were able to win the rebounding battle. We played better in the second half. We handled the ball better and played with a purpose. Our 1-3-1 got them sideways and kept us in the game."

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

"I don't think we played our best, but I think East Tennessee State had something to do with that. They give us a fight every time they come in here, and tonight was no different. I think we were feeling some effects from the game on Sunday (UConn). I was extremely disappointed in how they outrebounded us. Essentially, that is what kept them in the game."

"It was a victory, and I would have signed up for an 11-point win at the beginning of the night."

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