JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2005) - The East Tennessee State University men's basketball team led at halftime, but the hot 3-point shooting of the Furman Paladins proved to be the difference as they dropped the Bucs 76-68 in Southern Conference action Saturday afternoon at Memorial Center.
Trailing 32-30 at the intermission and by as many as five points in the second half, the Paladins used an 8-0 offensive spurt midway through the second half to secure the victory. For Furman, sophomore forward Moussa Diagne led the way with 17 points, while four other Paladin players reached double figures.
As has been the case most of the season, an injury-depleted Buccaneer squad left ETSU playing with just seven players throughout the game. Meanwhile, Furman went 8-of-14 from 3-point range after the intermission.
"Here we go again," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team dropped to 4-9 overall, 0-3 in SoCon play. "This is a tough loss. We could easily be 3-0 in our league right now, but like I've told our guys it's a game of inches, and right now we're not making the plays we need to make to win. I thought we fought, but we have to have six guys playing well in the first half and six guys playing well in the second half. If we don't we're going to lose."
The two teams traded the lead several times in the first half, but a 3-pointer by senior guard James Anthony (
In the second half, ETSU led by as many as five points at 45-40 when senior guard Sam Oatman (Neenah, Wis.) sank a 3-pointer from the corner with 13:22 left. However, a 3-pointer by Furman junior forward Ben Earle gave the Paladins back the lead at 52-51 with 9:14 remaining, and it also spurred an 8-0 run that was the primary difference in the game.
From there, the teams traded baskets and Furman hit its foul shots at the end to secure the victory.
Along with Diagne, Earle netted 16 points, guard Robby Bostain had 13, guard Eric Webb had 11, and forward Nicholas Sanders collected 10. For the Bucs, junior guard Tim Smith (
Both Furman and ETSU will return to Southern Conference action Monday night, as the Paladins face UNC Greensboro at home in