Second half sinks Bucs in 70-53 loss to Eastern Kentucky
Second half sinks Bucs in 70-53 loss to Eastern Kentucky
Monday, November 13, 2006

RICHMOND, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2006) - In a game that was tied at 32-32 early in the second half, Eastern Kentucky's Mike Rose scored 22 of his career high 27 points in the second half to help the Colonels race to a 70-53 win over ETSU Monday night at the McBrayer Arena.


With the loss, the Buccaneers drop to 1-1 on the year, while EKU improves to 2-0.


"We got off to a great start, but the second half was hard to watch," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, who once again started a lineup consisting of three true freshmen and a sophomore. "We're a young team and we have eight of our first 10 on the road. We don't expect to go 10-0, but we've got to learn from this."


Things did look good for the Bucs early on.


In the first half, ETSU held a nine-point lead at 20-11 with 10:30 left before the intermission. However, the Colonels used 13 offensive rebounds and four 3-point shots to rally with a 21-11 run of their own and lead 32-31 at the half. Senior Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) powered the Bucs' attack early, posting 12 points on six rebounds in the first half.


Key to the Colonels' efforts was a 1-3-1 zone offense that they began utilizing midway through the first half and continued to employ after the intermission. The zone held ETSU to just 22 points in the second half, while Rose and company had little trouble finding open shots against the Bucs' man-to-man defense.


Along with Rose, forward Julian Mascoll and guard Adam Leonard pitched in 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Colonels. For the Bucs, sophomore Courtney Pigram (Memphis) led the way with 15 points, but many of those came late in the game with the contest all but decided. Along with Pigram, Nuckles finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, while freshman guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) posted 11 points.


The Bucs return home for a Wednesday rematch with former Southern Conference rival Chattanooga. Former ETSU great Calvin Talford will be honored prior to the game, and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free commemorative pin honoring Talford's No. 24 jersey. Game time is set for 7 p.m. inside Memorial Center.