UNC Greensboro takes overtime win over Bucs, 79-76
UNC Greensboro takes overtime win over Bucs, 79-76
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 18, 2005) - Senior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) scored 22 points and junior forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago) collected his fifth career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but it was not enough as UNC Greensboro rallied for an overtime win over East Tennessee State 79-76 Tuesday night at Fleming Gymnasium.


With the loss, ETSU drops to 6-10 overall, 2-4 in Southern Conference play, while UNCG improves to 11-5, 4-1.


"I thought we played hard, but they really hurt us on the boards with put backs," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team led 33-25 at halftime. "It's tough playing on the road in conference play. We were one possession away at Appalachian State and then this game was down to the last play. Last year, we won a lot of those, this year has been a different story."


The Bucs looked solid early on, but the cushion evaporated midway through the second half, as the Spartans rallied to take as much as a four-point lead at 68-64 with 2:24 left in the game. From there, however, Sneed scored on a layup, and Smith was later fouled and hit both free throws to tie the game at 68-68. UNCG's Ronnie Burrell and Josh Gross both had shots at the end of regulation, but could not get the attempts to fall.


In overtime, the teams traded baskets until a 3-pointer by Gross dropped to make it 77-74 in favor of the Spartans. ETSU junior Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) was later fouled and hit a pair of free throws to make it 77-76. From there, however, the ETSU pressure could not force a turnover as Spartan guard Kevin Oleksiak hit a pair of free throws. A desperation 3-point attempt by Smith banked harmlessly off the backboard, securing the Spartan win.


For UNCG, Burrell finished with 18 points, while Ricky Hickman (17), Kyle Hines (16) and Gross (13) all scored in double figures. For ETSU, Smith and Sneed led the way, while Rhoda finished with 17 and senior guard James Anthony (Tampa, Fla.) had 11.


The Bucs will return to action Saturday on the road at Chattanooga, with tip set for 2 p.m., and the game scheduled to be televised on Fox SportsNet South. Meanwhile, UNCG will return to league play with a trip to the Citadel Saturday at 1 p.m.