Rally falls short as Clemson top Bucs 80-72
Tim Smith had his seventh career 30-point game against the Tigers.
Tim Smith had his seventh career 30-point game against the Tigers.

Friday, December 09, 2005

CLEMSON, S.C. (Dec. 9, 2005) - Senior Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) scored a season-high 33 points - including 21 in the second half - but ETSU could not overcome inopportune turnovers and fell to hot-shooting Clemson 80-72 Friday night in a non-conference matchup highlighted by back-and-forth offensive runs at Littlejohn Coliseum.          

With the loss, the Bucs fall to 1-5 on the season, while the Tigers remain perfect at 8-0. Despite the loss, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow was pleased with the fight of his team.


"To come on the road and lose to an ACC school by eight, we're obviously not pleased with the loss but you can't be unhappy with the effort," Bartow said. "Tim and Courtney really played with a lot of energy. We just needed to hit some shots when we had open looks and we didn't do that."


The Tigers took an eight-point lead into halftime, holding the Bucs to their lowest first-half point total of the season at 36-28. Clemson extended the margin to 14 with an 8-2 run to start the second frame capped by Sam Perry's layup with 17:38 to play.


However, at that point, the Bucs used a 10-2 run of their own to pull within six with 11:23 to play with Smith scoring all 10 points, including eight-straight in 49-seconds. After Smith's three pulled ETSU to 54-48 the answered by ripping off a 13-2 run of their own, punctuated by Cliff Hammonds matching Smith with 10 consecutive points.


Trailing by 17 with eight minutes to play, the Bucs turned up the defensive pressure, inducing 12 of Clemson's 22 turnovers in the second half. The turnovers led to another Buc scoring run, as  junior Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) capped an 11-0 run with a three from the corner to cut the Tiger lead to 67-61 with five minutes remaining.


From there the Tigers clamped down on defense and hit 9-of-12 free throws over the final five minutes to ensure that ETSU did not draw closer.


Smith finished with a game-high 33 points on 13-of-26 shooting, and tied with Nuckles for a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Courtney Pigram (Memphis, Tenn.) was the only Buc to join Smith in double figures, scoring 18 on 8-of-18 shooting. Smith finished with season highs for field goals (13), field goals attempted (26), points (33), rebounds (8) and steals (6).


Hammonds led Clemson with 21 points, and center Akin Akingbala grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. The Tigers had 15 offensive rebounds, allowing them to outscore the Bucs 23-11 on second-chance points.


The Bucs will return to the road December 17 against Ohio Valley power Austin Peay, while Clemson will travel to the San Juan Shootout to take on Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Dec. 19. For more on ETSU basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com.

Follow ETSU Athletics on Twitter Twitter and become a fan on Facebook Facebook.
WBB High Point University 76 Final
Nov 17 ETSU 84
MBB Virginia-Wise 66 F
Nov 18 ETSU 111
WBB Appalachian State University 76 Final
Nov 19 ETSU 70
WBB ETSU 79 Final
Nov 21 Saint Francis University 63
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. No. 5 Western Carolina (SoCon Quarterfinal)
MBB UNC Asheville 87 F
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. ETSU 98
Nov 24, 12:00 p.m. Winthrop 64
WBB ETSU 69 Final
Nov 24, 12:00 p.m. Indiana State University 76
WBB ETSU 69 Final
Nov 26, 12:00 p.m. Indiana University 97
WBB ETSU Blacksburg, Va.
Nov 29, 5:00 p.m. Virginia Tech University
MBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 1, 7:00 p.m. Morehead State
WBB ETSU Fairfax, Va.
Dec 3, 5:00 p.m. George Mason University
MBB Western Carolina Freedom Hall
Dec 3, 8:00 p.m. ETSU
WBB ETSU Huntsville, Ala.
Dec 6, 6:00 p.m. Alabama A&M University
MBB UNC Greensboro Freedom Hall
Dec 13, 4:00 p.m. ETSU
WBB Eastern Kentucky University Johnson City, Tenn.
Dec 13, 7:00 p.m. ETSU
WBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 15, 12:00 p.m. Morehead State University
MBB ETSU Richmond, Ky.
Dec 16, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky