Free Throws Lift ETSU Past Stetson 81-72
January 19, 2006
DeLand, Fla. -- Tim Smith led four players in double figures with 21 points as ETSU defeated host Stetson 81-72 in an Atlantic Sun Conference game Thursday evening at the Edmunds Center.
The Buccaneers (9-7, 6-3 A-Sun) went 33-for-41 from the free throw line en route to their eighth win in their last nine games.? The Hatters (2-14, 2-6 A-Sun) dropped their fourth game in a row.
The game followed a familiar script for the Hatters, who found themselves down 15 early in the second half.? A late run pulled Stetson to within 71-66 with two minutes to play, but the Bucs held on for the nine-point victory.
'When we play hard and with passion we are a pretty good team, but I am at a complete loss as to how to motivate them to do that,' Hatters head coach Derek Waugh said.? 'It seems like the only time we play well is when are backs are against the wall.? We were absolutely lethargic in the first half tonight.'
ETSU, which was just a 61 percent free throw shooting team on the season, made eight of their nine attempts from the line in the first half and 25 of 32 shots in the second half.?
'Overall, that's tough to overcome so many free throws,' Waugh said.
E.J. Gordon led the Hatters with season-highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds, marking the Hatters' first double-double performance of the year.? The only other Hatter to reach double figures was Kris Thomas with 10 points.
'E.J. played well and got to the rim, and the freshmen are all playing pretty well right now,' Waugh said.? 'But I have no clue on who is going to play well on a given night.? There seems to be no rhyme or reason.'
For ETSU, Dillon Sneed recorded 14 points and nine rebounds, Travis Strong scored 13 points and Ben Rhoda added 12 points.? Smith, the NCAA steals leader, picked up four steals but committed 10 turnovers in the game.
The Hatters will continue their three-game homestand on Saturday night vs. Kennesaw State.? Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.