BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Jan. 7, 2006) - With a blitzkrieg offensive attack that built a 65-38 halftime lead, the ETSU men's basketball team went on to hold off a rapid-fire Campbell rally and drop the Fighting Camels 110-96 Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference play at Carter Gymnasium.
With the win ETSU (5-6 overall, 2-2 A-Sun) improved its current win streak to four games and also snapped a nearly year-long, 10-game road losing streak that dated back to a win over Western Carolina back on Jan. 10, 2005. Meanwhile, Campbell dropped to 4-8 overall, 3-2 in league play.
"I'm glad that's over," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, who watched his team's 27-point halftime lead dwindle to as little as seven points in the second half before pulling away. "We needed to just get a win on the road. Robbie (Laing, Campbell's head coach) is doing a great job with their team and they really battled in the second half.
"I think that first half may have been the best we've played since I've been at ETSU. Tim (Smith) was vintage Timmy, (Brad) Nuckles had an unbelievable game, and having five players in double figures is great. It just feels good to win on the road again."
Senior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) led the way offensively with his eighth 30-point effort of his career, scoring a season-high 37 points, dishing a season-best nine assists and matching his career high for steals with eight. Meanwhile, junior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) posted the best rebounding effort of the season for a Buc, collecting a career-high 22 boards and his fourth career double-double with 15 points.
Along with Smith and Nuckles, freshman Courtney Pigram (Memphis) pitched in 15 points, while junior Travis Strong (Memphis) added 14 and senior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) dropped in 12. For Campbell, five players reached double figures, with Maurice Latham leading the way with 16, while Comerlee Poole tossed in 15, Reggie Bishop had 14, Eric Smith netted 12, and Diego Aguiar pitched in 10.
The first half was impressive for the Bucs. After falling behind 3-0, ETSU went on an 11-0 run to take an eight-point advantage. From there, the Bucs led by as many as 19, but after a Campbell 3-pointer with 6:21 left made it 42-26, the Bucs went on another 17-3 spurt to make it a 30-point lead at 59-29. At the break, the Bucs had enjoyed their best offensive half of the season and the most points scored in a half by an opponent in Campbell basketball history with 65 in all.
In the second half, Campbell consistently forced the action and took quick shots to work its way back into the game. After methodically cutting into the ETSU lead with small runs of six and seven points, the Fighting Camels trailed 92-78 when they put together an 8-1 run to make it a seven-point game with 4:49 remaining. However, from there the Bucs managed some defensive stops and finished with the 14-point win.
ETSU ended the game shooting 52 percent from the floor (41-of-79), 41 percent from 3-point range (9-of-22) and a strong 76 percent from the foul line (19-of-25). Campbell was held to 35 percent shooting from the floor. The two teams were even with 48 rebounds each.
The Bucs will continue their three-game road trip Monday night at Gardner-Webb with tip set for 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Campbell will be back in action at home that same night against Kennesaw State, with game time set for 7 p.m. For more on ETSU basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com.