Tennessee takes advantage of ETSU turnovers in 106-83 win
Tennessee takes advantage of ETSU turnovers in 106-83 win
Friday, November 18, 2005


             KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 18, 2005) - The ETSU men's basketball team committed 33 turnovers and Tennessee's Chris Lofton scored a team-high 24 points to lead the Volunteers over the Bucs 106-83 in a battle of in-state rivals Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.


            For ETSU, senior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) scored a game-high 26 points, and three other Buccaneer players scored in double figures, but the offensive problems and a poor defensive effort were too much to overcome.


            "The turnovers killed us," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "We were not very efficient tonight on offense. We wanted 12 to 13 turnovers for the game and instead we had 20 in the first half. The defensive effort had a lot to do with our offense. When you don't execute on offense, it makes defending that much harder."


In the first half, the Bucs committed 20 turnovers and the Vols capitalized on the mistakes by scoring 20 points off the miscues. Tennessee would lead by as many as 17 points three times in the first half, but the Bucs did manage a rally midway through the first  half, cutting the lead to eight points at 32-24 with 4:51 left before the intermission.


However, from there Tennessee sank three fouls shots in a row and hit back-to-back 3-pointers to go on a 9-0 run and regain a 17-point edge. At the half, the Vols led 46-31.


In the second half, Tennessee kept the pressure on the Bucs by increasing the lead to as many as 24 points at 77-53 thanks mainly to the sharp-shooting efforts of Lofton.


At that point, Smith - who scored just four points in the first half - scored 10-straight points in a 47-second span to cut the lead to 14 at 77-63. However, from there the Vols held off the ETSU momentum, scoring 11 straight and leading 88-64 with over six minutes left in the game.


Smith finished with 26 points and eight assists, but also picked up nine turnovers. Along with Smith, senior forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago) collected a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and senior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) netted 16 and 11 points, respectively.


For Tennessee, Lofton led the way while senior C.J. Watson netted 22 points. Senior Stanley Asumnu (18), junior Dane Bradshaw (13) and junior Major Wingate (11) all reached double figures as well for the Vols.


ETSU shot a strong 53.3 percent from the floor and held its own on the boards with Tennessee, finishing just four rebounds short of the Vols at 38-34. The Bucs struggled at the foul line, shooting just 48 percent from the floor for the game, while Tennessee hit on 43 percent from 3-point range.


The Bucs will return to action Tuesday night at non-conference foe Radford. Tip for the game is set 7 p.m. Check ETSUBucs.com for updates on ETSU basketball throughout the year.