ETSU squanders lead, Belmont takes 88-85 overtime win
ETSU senior Ben Rhoda hits a fall away jumper.
ETSU senior Ben Rhoda hits a fall away jumper.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 1, 2005) - Down eight points with just 42 seconds remaining, Belmont took advantage of a pair of ill-advised ETSU fouls and 3-pointers from Josh Goodwin and Justin Hare to force overtime and eventually garner an 88-85 win over the Bucs in an Atlantic Sun Conference battle Thursday night at Memorial Center.


Goodwin would finish with a school record and matched the A-Sun mark with 11 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 39 points. In all, the Bruins would fire 45 3-point attempts, an ETSU record for opponent attempts from beyond the arc.


"You've got to give credit to Belmont, they made the big shots when they needed them," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "We did not shoot the ball as well as we needed to in the second half, but we did a lot of good things and were in position to win.


"This is a 20-game league (schedule) and we can't feel bad too long about this one. We've got to prepare for Saturday's game with Lipscomb."


The Bruins (1-0 A-Sun, 3-1overall) did not lead in regulation, trailing from the outset and falling behind by as many as 13 points before the intermission. In the second half, the Bucs (0-1 A-Sun, 1-3 overall) held a 63-54 edge with 7:33 left when Belmont began their comeback with a 14-6 run to make it 71-68 with 1:37 remaining.


From there, the Bucs got a pair of foul shots from both senior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) and junior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) to make it a seven-point game at 75-68. Following a 1-of-2 trip to the line for Hare, ETSU senior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) sank two free throws to make it 77-69 with 42 seconds remaining.


In the final 37 seconds, Belmont got a 3-point play from Hare, a 2-of-2 trip to the line and a 3-pointer from Goodwin, but the Bucs still held a 78-77 lead thanks to Nuckles' 1-of-2 at the line with 22 seconds left. ETSU's Smith was later fouled and made 2-of-2 for the 80-77 advantage, but Hare - who had been 0-of-6 from beyond the arc - hit a long range bomb to tie the game. Smith had an open look at the basket as time expired, but the 16-foot runner rimmed out.


In overtime, three points from Boomer Herndon, a 3-pointer from Andy Wicke and a field goal from Hare accounted for the Bruin scores. The Bucs trailed by three and had four shots to tie the game in the final 20 seconds, but could not make a basket.


For the game, Goodwin enjoyed a career night with 39 points, while Herndon and Hare joined him in double figures with 10 and 13 points, respectively. For the Bucs, Smith finished with a team-high 21 points, while senior forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago) and Nuckles finished with 17 and 16, respectively.


The Bucs shot just 39 percent from the floor for the game, but hit on 73 percent from the foul line. Belmont was only 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc, but held a 52-47 edge in rebounding, including a 21-19 advantage on the offensive glass.


ETSU will return to A-Sun action Saturday against Lipscomb at 4 p.m., while Belmont will travel to face Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. For more information on ETSU basketball, visit

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