Hodges scored a career-high 26 points, but even more impressively, he held Bubba Parham, the Southern Conference’s leading scorer, without a point for the first 35 minutes. It resulted in ETSU’s 94-70 victory over Virginia Military Institute in a Southern Conference basketball game at Cameron Hall.
“They just told me I needed to try to hold him to nothing and that’s what I done,” Hodges said. “I played him a full game, full court. I made sure he couldn’t get the ball and couldn’t get a shot.”
Hodges added 12 rebounds and four assists. He was the eighth different player to lead ETSU in scoring this year.
“In my four years here, it was probably the best all-around game one of our players has had,” ETSU coach Steve Forbes said. “Bo showed he has to be considered for defensive player of the year because he guards the other team’s best player every night.”
Daivien Williamson added 20 points for the Bucs, who improved to 22-7 overall, 12-4 in the SoCon. Tray Boyd III had 18.
Parham came in averaging 20.7 points per game. His season low was six points against Furman. He finally scored with two free throws at the 4:25 mark and finished with just those two points.
VMI (7-20, 1-14) led by as many as five points in the first half before ETSU put together a 17-3 run covering both sides of halftime to begin to pull away. Hodges was in the middle of it all.
None of Hodges’ assists was better than when he drew the defense in the paint, lobbed a pass to Lucas N’Guessan and the 7-footer slammed it home for a 58-42 lead.
Hodges stayed so close to Parham, the VMI star couldn’t get many open looks. He launched a 35-foot shot midway through the second half. It hit the back of the rim.
A bit later, Hodges blocked Parham’s 10-footer and controlled the rebound. At that point, Parham was 0 for 9 from the field. He finished 0 for 12, the second time in his career he was held without a field goal.
“I take people scoring on me personally so that’s always a challenge,” Hodges said.
Mladen Armus also had 12 rebounds for ETSU, which out-rebounded VMI 39-24 and outscored the Keydets 55-31 in the second half.
Myles Lewis scored 27 points for the Keydets. Sarju Patel added 12.
The Bucs play at UNC Greensboro on Sunday at 3 p.m. It’s their final regular-season road game. They close the regular season Saturday, March 2, with a home game against Western Carolina.
“I think if we can get 5,500 fans against Western on Senior Day,” Forbes said, “we can average 5,000 for all of our SoCon home games, which is very, very impressive.”