Bucs race past Runnin' Bulldogs, drop Gardner-Webb, 89-66
Bucs race past Runnin' Bulldogs, drop Gardner-Webb, 89-66
Monday, January 9, 2006

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. (Jan. 9, 2006) - For a second-straight game, the ETSU men's basketball team used an offensive rush in the first half, pulling out to a 53-29 lead at the intermission, and went on to drop Atlantic Sun Conference foe Gardner-Webb 89-66 Monday night at Paul Porter Arena.


With the win, ETSU captures its fifth-straight victory and improves to 6-6 overall, 3-2 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, Gardner-Webb drops to 6-7, 3-3, and suffered its worst home loss since becoming a Division I member in the 2000-2001 season. The Buccaneers have now scored 110 and 89 points, respectively, in the first half of their last two games, finishing with an average offensive output of 99.5 points in wins over Campbell and GWU.


In the first half, ETSU led 22-21 with 9:08 left in the game before unleashing its offensive firepower and outscoring Gardner-Webb 31-8 before intermission. The brunt of the outside attack came from senior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) and freshman guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who combined for 48 points for the game, with Smith netting a game-high 25 and Pigram a career high 23.


Along with Smith and Pigram, junior forward Brad Nuckles finished with his fifth career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds - his second straight game with a double-double. In addition, senior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) added 12 points.


For the game, ETSU committed just eight turnovers for the game, outrebounded the GWU 44-40 -- 19-12 on the offensive glass -- and got double figure scoring from four players. The Bucs shot 46 percent from the floor and 39 percent from 3-point range.


Gardner-Webb also got double-figure scoring from four players, led by Tim Jennings and Brian Bender with 13 each. Simon Conn added a double-double effort with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The loss was the worst home defeat for the Runnin' Bulldogs since the 1996-97 season, a span of 111 games inside Paul Porter Arena.


The Bucs will hope to maintain their momentum as they continue their three-game road trip Thursday night with the final game of the stretch, playing Kennesaw State in Kennesaw, Ga., at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Gardner-Webb takes on Campbell Friday night at home in the CSS Atlantic Sun Game of the Week beginning at 7:30 p.m.


For more on ETSU basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com.