Men's basketball falls to ETSU, 71-59

Jan. 15, 2007

Box Score

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - When you have three freshmen in the starting lineup, you are going to feel the effects of growing pains at some point in the season.

Atlantic Sun Conference co-leader East Tennessee State (13-7, 7-1 A-Sun) flexed its muscles in a 22-6 run to end the first half, propelling the Bucs to a 71-59 win over the JU men's basketball team on Monday night at the Memorial Center.

Brad Nuckles scored 23 points, had 11 rebounds and blocked six shots to lead the Bucs. JU freshman Derek Duggins had the best game of his young career, scoring 13 points off the bench, hitting three 3-pointers.

"I was pleased with our effort in the second half," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We attacked the basket more aggressively and finished some shots that we didn't in the first half. Now we've got to get some rest and get ready for some home games this week."

Duggins was the lone Dolphin to score in double figures as JU (7-10, 3-4 A-Sun) was held to its second lowest offensive output of the season.

The Bucs blocked 15 shots, with Nuckles and Eryk Thomas getting six apiece. Thomas finished the game with eight points, 12 boards, six blocks and eight steals, despite hitting just 1-of-5 from the floor.

ETSU also held a big advantage on the boards, out rebounding JU 45-33, and was able to go to the free throw line 21 times, 13 coming in the first half, hitting 19.

The Dolphins held a four-point lead six minutes into the second half, 10-6, but scored just six points in the final 13 minutes as the Bucs scored 22 points during that stretch to take a 16-point lead into the locker room.

JU trailed by as many as 22 in the second half, cutting the lead to 13 with 12 minutes to go in the game, but was unable to get any closer until the final minute when Corey Claitt hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 10 with just over a minute remaining.

Tyrone Curnell and Lehmon Colbert had nine points each for JU, with Marcus Allen and Jesse Kimbrough leading the team in rebounds with six each.

The Dolphins return home for a two-game homestand on campus at Swisher Gymnasium, facing Mercer on Thursday and Stetson on Saturday. Tipoff for Thursday's game is set for 7 p.m.