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Southern Conference Notebook

November 26, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Southern Conference Notebook

by Robby Trail

The biggest story in the SoCon this week was how close several teams were to making a big story in the conference. Several teams came oh so close to making national waves and gaining the conference needed recognition.

Chattanooga led No. 5 Kansas by double digits in the first half, but all hopes of an upset ended with a late second half run by the Jayhawks. UNC-Greensboro had a late run in the second half fall short as they lost to Indiana by seven points. Western Carolina, thanks to an incredible performance by Kevin Martin, only trailed Georgia by four points with 44 seconds remaining, but could not pull off the upset. ETSU only trailed Texas Tech by five at half time, but a scoring drought to begin the second half ended their bid for an upset. Finally, Elon was so close to an upset in their 42-point loss at Wake Forest.

North Division

ETSU Buccaneers (1-1)

Last week: Defeated Houston 65-51, Lost to Texas Tech 64-53
This week: Tuesday against Mars Hill, Saturday against UNC-Wilmington

Shooting guard Ben Rhoda scored 19 points to lead the Buccaneers in the 65-51 win against Houston. Point guard Tim Smith added 13 and forward Zakee Wadood had nine points to go with his team-leading four assists. ETSU withstood a second half run in which Houston outscored the Buccaneers 13-3 to hold on for the win.

Smith led the Buccaneers with 14 points to go with his three assists in the 64-53 loss at Texas Tech. Guard James Anthony added 13 points off the bench in the losing effort. The Bucs only trailed by five at the half, but did not get their first field goal of the second half until the 14:42 mark. ETSU twice got the margin down to nine in the last ten minutes, but could pull no closer.

Chattanooga Mocs (0-1)

Last week: Lost to No. 5 Kansas 90-76
This week: Monday against Oral Roberts, Wednesday against Tennessee Wesleyan, Saturday against Emmanuel College

Forward Jason Rogan led the Mocs with 22 points and eight rebounds in the 90-76 loss at Kansas. Forward Ashley Champion put in 20 and grabbed five rebounds in the loss. The Mocs led 24-14 with 9:32 to go in the first half, but Kansas finished the half on a 28-6 run to lead 42-30 at the break. A minute into the second half the Mocs closed the Jayhawk led down to nine, but that was the last time the lead would be less than ten. Chattanooga turned the ball over 23 times, 19 of those coming in the first half.

Appalachian State Mountaineers (0-2)

Last week: Lost to Monmouth 69-65, Lost to Boston College 92-67
This week: TBA at Paradise Jam on Monday, Friday at George Washington in Red Auerbach Tournament, Saturday TBA in Red Auerback Tournament

Freshman D.J. Thompson scored a game-high 14 points in the 69-65 loss to Monmouth. Appy State trailed by as much as 12 in the second half, but a late run cut the lead to six with just 30 seconds left. Noah Brown added a jump shot as time expired, but that was as close at the Mountaineers would get.

Sophomore Derek Thomas scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the 92-67 loss to Boston College. The Mountaineers trailed by only 11 at the break, but Boston College put up 52 second half points to run away with the win.

UNC-Greensboro Spartans (0-1)

Last week: Lost to Indiana 71-64
This week: Tuesday against Campbell, Saturday against Greensboro College

Guard Jay Joseph scored 20 points in the 71-64 loss at Indiana. Ronnie Burrell added 11 points for the Spartans. The Spartans trailed by five at the half, but never could score consistently enough to take over the game in the second half. Indiana shot 30 free throws in the game, compared to the only 15 attempts the Spartans had from the charity stripe.

Western Carolina Catamounts (0-1)

Last week: Lost to Georgia 78-67
This week: Tuesday against Virginia Tech, Saturday against Milligan College

Guard Kevin Martin had an amazing 44 points, including seven three-pointers, in the losing effort against Georgia. Thirty-five of Martin’s points came in the Catamounts second half charge. Guard Corey Muirhead added seven points and three rebounds for the Catamounts.

The Catamounts trailed by 18 points at halftime, mainly due to 26 percent shooting and 16 first half turnovers, but cut the deficit to four points with 44 seconds left. The Bulldogs were flawless from the line in the last minute to hold on for an 11-point win.

Elon Phoenix (0-3)

Last week: Lost to Idaho 84-60, Lost to Gardner-Webb 68-65, Lost to No. 19 Wake Forest 97-55
This week: Thursday against Bluefield College

The Phoenix started their season with a bang with three straight loses. Freshman Matt Nowlin led Elon with 13 points in the loss against Idaho. Starters (for the Elon fans out there) Jackson Atoyebi and Rasmi Gamble had 11 and 10 points respectively. The Phoenix only shot 33 percent from the field in the first half and were never really in the game.

The Phoenix had three double-digit scorers, Montell Watson, Scottie Rice and Atoyebi, in the three-point loss against Gardner-Webb. The Phoenix trailed 49-38 with 12:26 to play in the game, but cut the lead to one with 30 seconds remaining. A Gardner-Webb lay up extended the lead to three. Chris Chalko missed a three pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game. Atoyebi led the Phoenix with 11 points and eight rebounds in the 97-55 loss at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons jumped out to a 16-2 advantage to begin the game and never looked back.

South Division

Davidson Wildcats (1-0)

Last week: Lost to Texas Tech 89-58
This week: Monday against North Carolina, Saturday against Rhode Island

Guard Matt McKillop led the Wildcats with 18 points in the 89-58 loss to Texas Tech in the first round of the preseason NIT. Brendan Winters added 8 points and seven rebounds, and Ian Johnson had eight points off the bench.

Fourteen first half turnovers for Davidson helped Texas Tech build a 43-25 lead at halftime. The Wildcats missed all eight of their first half three-point attempts, but they did manage to hit seven three’s in the second half. However, defensively, Davidson was unable to stop Texas Tech, who poured it on late to win by 31.

Charleston Cougars (1-1)

Last week: Lost Auburn 66-62, Defeated Charleston Southern 83-66
This week: Wednesday against Central Florida

Charleston had their chance to pull the upset over Auburn. With 14 seconds to go and Auburn up 64-62, Tony Mitchell had his jump shot blocked by Auburn’s Kyle Davis. The Tigers got the rebound and hit two free throws to put the game out of reach. Guard Stanley Jackson led the Cougars with 17 points and Marcus Johnson added 13. In the end, size was the difference as Charleston was out rebounded 40-28 by Auburn.

Jackson again led the Cougars in the win 83-66 against Charleston Southern, scoring 20 points and grabbing a career-high eight rebounds. Charleston shot a torrid 50 percent from the field in the game, but were once again out rebounded 37-32 in the game.

Georgia Southern Eagles (1-0)

Last week: Defeated North Georgia 94-55
This week: Monday against UAB, Friday against Savannah State

Guard Elton Nesbitt led the Eagles with 18 points in the 94-55 win over North Georgia. Forward Jean Francois added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles.

Georgia Southern shot 50 percent from the field in the game and managed to hold North Georgia to only 23 percent shooting. The game was tight throughout the first half, but a late run gave the Eagles a 13-point lead at the break. Georgia Southern outscored North Georgia by 26 points in the second half for the 29-point win.

Wofford Terriers (0-1)

Last week: Lost to Tennessee 81-70
This week: Monday against Emmanuel College, Saturday against Clemson

Tyler Berg and Sam Daniels had 11 points each in the 81-70 loss to Tennessee. Tennessee led by six at the break, but a 12-2 run in the second half gave the Terriers a 43-41 lead. The game was back and forth for the next ten minutes, but Tennessee went on a late run to take an eight-point lead with 4 minutes to go. Wofford could not cut the lead below four in the last four minutes, and Tennessee made their free throws down the stretch to ice the win.

Furman Paladins (0-1)

Last week: Lost to James Madison 78-72
This week: Monday against Southern Wesleyan, Wednesday Against Greensboro College, Sunday against Minnesota

Forward Maleye Ndoye had a career-high 32 points in the 78-72 loss to James Madison. Bobby Bostain added 11 points for the Paladins. James Madison had a huge lead for much of the first half, but Ndoye scored the last seven points of the first half to get the Paladins with 12 at the break.

In the second half, Furman quickly cut the lead to less than ten, but had trouble striking when it had the chance. The Paladins cut the lead to three with two minutes to go, but that was as close as they would get.

The Citadel Bulldogs (1-0)

Last week: Defeated Webber International 79-75
This week: Tuesday against Washington & Lee, Friday against Central Florida

Guard Chris Terry had a career-high 33 points, shooting 10 of 20 from field and making six of nine three-point attempts, to lead the Bulldogs in their four-point win over Webber International. Erick Wilson and Joseph Thompson scored 11 points each.

Webber led by 11 points at the break and led for most of the second half. Terry then scored four straight points to give The Citadel a one-point lead with 23 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs sunk a pair of free throws to ice the win.

     

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