JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (Nov. 29, 2004) - Holding a six-point lead over King College with 37 seconds remaining in the first half, the East Tennessee State men's basketball team went to its defense to create three baskets on a pair of turnovers in the final seconds.
The result was a 45-33 halftime lead and a new vigor on the defensive end of the floor, as the Buccaneers went on to hold King scoreless for the first eight minutes of the second half and took an 82-48 win Monday night in front of 4,077 fans at
"I thought the last 30 seconds of the first half was pivotal because it took a six-point lead and made it 12," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team improved to 2-2 on the season. "That gave us some energy in the first half. For the first 19 minutes, King did some nice things to stay in the game, but for the last 20 minutes and 20 seconds we played well enough to pull away."
With a trip to face a Top 25 team in
In addition to Rhoda and Mitchell, freshman Andrew Reed (Port Richey,
ETSU trailed King 10-9 with left before the intermission, but the Bucs methodically built their lead throughout the rest of the first half. In the second half the Bucs opened with a 14-3 run and never looked back, finishing the game with their largest lead of the night at 34 points.
The Bucs out-rebounded King 45-37 and shot 47 percent from the floor (31-of-66). ETSU forced 26 turnovers by the Tornado and had 10 steals for the night.
King, which is located in nearby
ETSU now prepares for
"By far, we'll have to play our best game of the year," Bartow said. "Especially right now without Brad (Nuckles) and not a lot of experience inside, we'll have to go there and play our best."
The Bucs will return home Saturday, Dec. 4 for their Southern Conference opener, a critical showdown with South Division power