Bucs win 10th straight, roll past Campbell, 87-57
Monday, February 5, 2007

                JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2007) - Holding Campbell to just 27 percent shooting and using a 32-7 run midway through the first half, the ETSU men's basketball team pulled away and never looked back in an 87-57 win over its Atlantic Sun Conference opponent Monday night in front of 4,357 fans at Memorial Center.


            The Buccaneers, who improved to 18-7 overall, 12-1 in A-Sun play, won their 10th straight game and maintain their two-game lead over league rival Belmont with five league games remaining. As for the Fighting Camels, they drop to 10-13, 5-8.


            "I thought we defended hard and competed hard," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "When you look at 27 percent shooting and holding their guy (Jonathan) Rodriguez to eight points that's good. We gave the guys Saturday off after the Gardner-Webb game, and they really came back yesterday with a great practice. That seemed to carry over tonight."


            While the Bucs pulled away for the 30-point win, Campbell actually led 10-6 with 14:55 left in the first half. But from there, 3-pointers by junior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) and freshman guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) ignited a 13-0 run by the Bucs. While the Camels managed a free throw to finally answer the offensive surge, the Bucs promptly posted another 19-4 run to basically put the game on cruise control at 38-17 with 3:38 left before the intermission.


            In the second half, the Bucs didn't let up, outscoring the Camels 44-34 and holding them to just 31 percent shooting. For the game, ETSU hit on 49 percent of its shots, forced 24 Campbell turnovers, collected 14 steals and rejected 11 shots.


            The Bucs were led in scoring by Twilley, who finished with 15 points thanks to a career high five 3-pointers. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and senior forward Eryk Thomas (Fremont, Calif.) netted 13 points apiece, while junior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) picked up 10 points. Senior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) had a game-high eight rebounds and scored eight points, while sophomore guard Tayloe Taylor had a game-high seven assists.


             For Campbell, Kyle Vejraska led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds.


            "We've been in tight games, and it's good to win those games, but it's also good to get this one and give a lot of guys some minutes," said Bartow, who was able to start emptying his bench with 10 minutes left in the game. "Giving those guys some playing time is important and we were able to do it tonight."


            ETSU now hits the road for a three-game league road swing beginning Thursday at Jacksonville. Game time is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be available on live video streaming at ETSUBucs.com. The Bucs will wrap up their league road schedule with a trip to North Florida Saturday at 4 p.m., and a Feb. 17 meeting against Kennesaw State at 7:30 p.m.