Smith delivers at crunch time for Buccaneers

By Seth Bartee
STAR Correspondent

   GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Tim Smith once again brought ETSU an unexpected win as the Bucs trailed by five late in the second half on Monday night.
   Smith, nicknamed "Tiny Tim," was not so tiny as he got an offensive rebound and put in back up for two to bring the Bucs within one of the Paladins. Then Furman guard, Tony Carter, threw away a pass and put the ball back in Smith's hands. He then hit a shot inside with 3.6 seconds left to give ETSU (9-4, 2-0 SoCon) a thrilling 69-68 win over Furman (7-5, 0-2 SoCon) in Timmons Arena.
   Furman had its 8-game winning streak snapped in Timmons Arena as the Bucs won their second Southern Conference game of the season.
   ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, pleased with the win, says his team is still got a long way to go.
   "I'm proud we came back after being down late in the second half," said Bartow. "We showed that we had some real fight in us tonight."
   The Bucs' win was not a pretty one as they shot 27-of-64 in field goals, 9-of-15 in foul shots and Wadood, James Anthony, Jerald Fields all landed 4 fouls. Buc fans were glad to see the return of the Tim Smith of old. The Smith of early 2003, who hit his famous running shot, scored a season high 22 points to the Bucs in scoring.
   "I sat down with the coaches last night and got some things off my chest," said Smith about the reason of his good performance Monday. "I have been working on my running shot from every angle."
   Speaking on his final shot, Smith was confident in his ability to win the game.
   "I told everyone that I would come on," said Smith. "I just wanted the ball, took it from James and made a wide open layup."
   The Paladins with two 6-8 forwards posted up under the goal made the Bucs hit shots from outside. They made Jerald Fields kick the ball back out and hope for his teammates help. Zakee Wadood, who is fifth in the country in steals (3.78 pg) and came to Fields' aide despite having an ankle injury caused in their road trip in Hawaii, scored 20 points, 3 steals and 8 rebounds.
   "My ankle may look fine but it's sore," said Wadood. "It hurts when I try to move laterally, which is a big part of my game."
   "It felt good to see Tim (Smith) back. He shot the same kind of shot to win the Clemson game and it rolled out. This time it went in."
   Furman, which lost to Ohio State by two and went into overtime against Minnesota, kept the game close throughout. Although the Paladins are very young, coach Larry Davis sees his team as ambassadors for Furman.
   "Our team is young," said Davis. "At one point we had five freshman on the floor. But it says Furman on our jerseys, not freshmen or sophomores."
   "Tony Carter, instead of passing the ball in the press, should have drawn the foul. But he's young and ETSU is a very good team."
   From 3-point range, ETSU shot 6-of-14 and James Anthony hit his most important three of the evening to bring the Bucs within one.
   "James Anthony made one that put us back in the game," said Bartow. "He's supposed to make big shots out there."
   Jerald Fields led the Bucs with 11 rebounds, he also had 12 points. He is 9th in the SoCon in rebounding, averaging 6.0 a game.
   The Paladins shot 25-of-58 from the field and was led in scoring by Tony Carter with 12 points. ETSU leaves Timmons Arena having a 21-22 all-time record against the Paladins.
   ETSU faces UNC-Greensboro at Greensboro Saturday at 7 p.m.