Big First Half Propels ETSU To An 85-71 Win Over Coastal Carolina

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Conway, S.C. (Dec. 4, 2001) - East Tennessee State raced out to a 44-27 halftime advantage and then held off Coastal Carolina rallies in the second half to take an 85-71 men's basketball victory Tuesday night in Kimbel Arena. Sophomore Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) had a career night, leading the Bucs with a double-double of 24 points and 15 rebounds, both career highs. The win was the second straight for ETSU, the first time this season the Bucs have won back-to-back games. East Tennessee State (3-3) opened the game by scoring the first six points and continuously built the lead through the opening frame with a strong inside game that saw ETSU score 26 points in the paint. The Bucs' advantage reached as many as 19 points three times during the first half, with the last being with 13 seconds remaining on a layup by Wadood. The Bucs shot 50 percent in the first half and were led by Wadood's 14 points. Coastal Carolina (1-5) came out smoking in the second half and went on an 11-2 run to open play. The spurt, capped by a Derrick Robinson dunk with 15:11 showing on the clock, closed the gap to nine points at 46-38. ETSU quickly stretched the lead back to 12 points on a jumper by Dimeco Childress (Columbia, Tenn.) and a pair of free throws by Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.). Brandon Newby then scored six points during a Coastal Carolina 10-2 run that brought the Chanticleers close again, this time within four points at 52-48 with 11:49 remaining. ETSU's three starters from last season then used their experience to thwart the Chant's rally. Ryan Lawson (Rogersville, Tenn.) hit a trey, Cliff Decoster (Miramar, Fla.) nailed a runner and Childress hit two and three-point baskets to lift the Buc's leads back to 14 points with 9:42 remaining. ETSU continued to hold a comfortable lead until the Chanticleers put together one final push for the lead late in the contest. Back to back 3-point baskets by Alvin Green and Robinson closed the score to 74-69 with 1:20 to play. The Buccaneers sealed the victory at the free throw line by connecting on 11-of-18 in the final 1:11 of the game. Childress added 19 points, while Jerald Fields (Gainsville, Fla.) and Decoster added 13 and 11 points, respectively. ETSU edged the Chanticleers on the glass 42-36 and in field goal percentage 48.2 to 42.4. Newby led Coastal Carolina with 20 points and added six rebounds. Derrick Robinson tallied 15 second half points and a team high eight rebounds. Antonio Darden came off of the bench to net 10 points and grab seven rebounds. ETSU will play in the Memorial Center for the first time this season in its next game, hosting Radford on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 4:00 p.m.
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