DAVIDSON, N.C. (Feb. 15, 2003) -- Just one game after shooting 54 percent from the field and 75 percent from three-point range, the Davidson men's basketball team struggled to find the bottom of the net, falling 87-72 to East Tennessee State at Belk Arena on Saturday evening. The Wildcats shot a season-low 33 percent from the field leading to its first home loss of the season. Davidson fell to 14-8 overall, 8-4 in the Southern Conference, while ETSU moved into a tie with the Wildcats for second place in the conference, improving to 14-9 overall, 8-4 in the SoCon.
Three ETSU freshmen led the charge for the Bucs. Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) led the Bucs with a season-best 20 points, hitting 6-of-10 from the field. Also scoring a season-high was Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) as he poured in 19 to go along with his team-high eight rebounds. Point guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) also notched 19 points.
Freshman Brendan Winters led the Wildcats in scoring for the second game in a row, dropping 19 points, thanks to 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also added seven boards in the effort. Senior Wayne Bernard and freshman Ian Johnson also netted double figures, scoring 13 and 12, respectively.
The Wildcats struggled from the start, down 14-2 in the first five minutes of the game. Davidson crawled back to within three points on a Bernard three-pointer, the lone Wildcat three-pointer in the first half, at the 4:27 mark. Junior Terrell Ivory converted on a three-point play a minute later and the Buc advantage was only two. Davidson did not score for the remaining three minutes of the half. ETSU went on a 13-0 run to take a 41-26 lead into the locker room.
Each team turned the ball over nine times in the first half, but the Bucs scored 14 points off Wildcat turnovers compared to only three by Davidson.
The Wildcats kept the game interesting in the final half, slowly cutting into the ETSU lead. Senior Peter Anderer made his return after missing nine games due to a broken hand and nailed a three-pointer that cut the Buccaneer advantage to four points, 73-69, with just over four minutes remaining. Davidson did not connect again from the field and turned the ball over four times in the final two minutes of play as ETSU ended the Wildcats' 10-game home winning streak.
Prior to this game, Davidson had shot below 45 percent in only two conference games. The Bucs, meanwhile, connected on 50.8 percent from the floor, the second time in the past four games a Wildcat opponent has hit at least 50 percent. It had been more than two years since an opponent had shot 50 percent or better before Wofford drilled 54 percent on Feb. 3.
The Buccaneers will head to Greensboro to battle the Spartans on Monday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.