CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 7, 2010) - The hangover from ETSU's loss to USC Upstate lingered into Tuesday evening's non-conference matchup with former Southern Conference rival College of Charleston, as the Buccaneers struggled throughout on the offensive end and eventually lost 79-59 at the Carolina First Arena.
With the loss, the Bucs drop to 3-4 overall on the year and still have five more games remaining on their current month-long, eight-game road trip. Meanwhile, the Cougars - a preseason favorite in the SoCon - improved to 7-3 overall.
"I'm very surprised by the 20-point loss, but we're just struggling to score right now," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "Give credit to Charleston though, because they have a really good team with a potent offense. We were good enough to win at Dayton, and that didn't mean we were great. And even though we lose by 20 tonight it doesn't mean we are awful. Right now, we're just not that good."
Charleston lived up to its offensive reputation in the early going, hitting four 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes and building an 18-10 lead with 10:27 left before halftime. The Cougars eventually led by as many as 13 three times in the half, with ETSU ultimately trailing 36-24 at the break.
In the first half, it was the Cougars' edge on the boards that made the difference as they out-rebounded the Bucs 27-20 with 13 offensive boards. Outscoring the Bucs 11-4 on second chance points, Charleston also had five made 3-pointers in the half while ETSU shot 0-of-9 from outside the arc.
The second half started in nightmare fashion for the Bucs, as Charleston hit three more long-range bombs and went on an 11-2 run to take a 21-point lead at 47-26 with 17:02 left. That CofC edge grew to as many as 22 points with 14:41 left, and the Bucs never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.
For the game, the Bucs got a team high 16 points from senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester), while sophomore guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) netted 13. Meanwhile, Charleston had four players in double figures, led by preseason SoCon pick Andrew Goudelock with 22, while Donavan Monroe added 16, Jeremy Simmons scored 12, and Trent Wiedeman collected 11.
For the game, the Bucs shot 42 percent from the field, but were just 3-of-17 from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Charleston finished with a 46 to 36 edge rebounding, and went 17-of-25 from the foul line while the Bucs were just 4-of-7 from the charity stripe.
The Bucs will try to regroup their next time out, but they will face another stiff test on the road as they take on Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State Saturday evening at 8 p.m. in Starkville, Miss. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoop link.