Greenville, S.C. (Feb. 18, 2002) -- Dimeco Childress (Columbia, Tenn.) scored a game high 24 points and led hot shooting East Tennessee State to its seventh straight win with a 78-67 triumph over Furman Monday night at Timmons Arena.
Childress converted 9-of-14 field goal attempts, including 3-of-4 3-pointers, and three free throws to pace the Buccaneers (17-9, 10-5 SoCon), who shot a blistering 57.1 percent from the field (32x56).
Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds for East Tennessee State, which moved to within a half game of first place Davidson in league's north division. Davidson, which is 10-4 in conference, plays at south division champion College of Charleston Tuesday night.
Furman (14-12, 7-8 SoCon), which got 16 points from Karim Souchu, had its three-game winning streak snapped with the loss and fell into a fourth-place tie in the league's south division with The Citadel. Guilherme Da Luz added 15 points and 12 assists for the Paladins, who shot only 38.2 percent from the field (26x68) and only 6-of-25 from 3-point range (24.0%).
Paced by Da Luz's 10 first half assists, Furman overcame an early deficit to lead by as many as seven points twice in the first half before taking a 35-33 lead into halftime.
In the second half the lead changed hands several times until Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.) put the Buccaneers ahead for good at 51-50 with a jump shot at the 9:38 mark.
A three-point play by Wadood less than a minute later gave East Tennessee State a 55-51 advantage, and from that point the Buccaneers held the Paladins at bay.
A steal and dunk by Wadood made it 63-57 with 4:38 remaining, and a Childress 3-point bomb from six feet behind the arc at the 1:39 mark to make it 68-61 highlighted a sizzling second half shooting effort by the Buccaneers, who converted 17-of-26 field goal attempts (65.4%) over the final 20 minutes of play.
Furman plays its final game of the regular season on Saturday when it travels to UNC Greensboro for a 7:00 p.m. contest. East Tennessee State, meanwhile, completes its regular season on Saturday when it plays at Appalachian State in a 1:00 p.m. game.