CHARLESTON, S.C (Feb. 28, 2004)- Mike Benton's tip-in with 10 seconds left off a Thomas Mobley pass led the College of Charleston to a 91-89 victory over ETSU in Southern Conference men's basketball action at John Kresse Arena. Benton and Mobley each posted double-doubles with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars.
Bernard Jackson scored a career-high 17 points to help the Cougars improve to 19-8 overall and 11-5 in the Southern Conference. The Bucs suffered their first SoCon loss of the season falling to 24-5 and 15-1 in conference play. Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) led the way for the Buccaneers with 27 points. Jerald Fields (Gainsville, Fla.) and Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) also scored 19 points each for the Bucs who will enter next weekend's Southern Conference Tournament as the number one seed in the North.
The Cougars came out of the locker room and opened the game by scoring the first 14 points of the game. Thomas Mobley buried a three-pointer in front of the third largest crowd in the history of the John Kresse Arena (3,790) following the first media time-out of the game.
The Bucs cut into the Cougars lead as the first half went along and when Fields converted the lay-up off an assist from Wadood, ETSU got to within nine at 31-22 with 5:21 to go in the half. The Cougars responded nine seconds later when Mobley knocked down one of his three three-pointers for the game to push the lead back up to 12. Tony Mitchell knocked the long three-pointer with 1:06 left in the half and the Cougars went into the half up 46-35.
After missing their first eight shots of the first half, the Bucs knocked down five of their first eight to start the second half. ETSU cut the lead down to six at 52-46 four minutes into the half on Tim Smith's put back. The Cougars held their largest lead of the second half at 80-63 with six minutes left in the game when Mobley knocked down the jumper off a steal from Benton.
The Bucs responded in the game's final minutes and used a 24-8 run over the next five minutes to get within one on Smith's steal and lay up with one minute left. Following Dontaye Draper's one-for-two from the line, Smith got his own rebound and put in the jumper to tie the game at 89.
With ten seconds left and the score tied, Thomas Mobley threw a lob from the far right corner right over the basket and Benton was there for the game winning tip-in. Following a ETSU turnover, the Cougars long inbounds pass hit the scoreboard to give the Bucs the ball with 3.8 seconds left. Fields missed a jumper that could have tied the game and Mobley came down with the defensive rebound.
The Cougars and Bucs compete in next weekend's Southern Conference Tournament at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Cougars have won 118 games in a row when scoring 84 or more points.