After the Owls overcame the 13-point deficit to take a 31-29 lead at the halftime break, a fiery second half that featured a couple of minor scuffles, a technical foul, and a stingy ETSU fullcourt defense resulted in a 72-66 ETSU win Sunday afternoon in front of 3,287 fans at Memorial Center.
"It's always tough against those guys," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team has now won five straight and improved its record to 13-9 overall, 7-2 in A-Sun play. "(Ronell) Wooten for them is just a tremendous player and he can really take control of a game. We made some adjustments to defend him in the second half, and I think our defensive intensity was a real key."
The ETSU offense was clicking early in the game, as the Bucs pulled out to a lead of as many as 13 points at 24-11 with just over eight minutes left in the first half. However, from there
In the second half, the two teams traded baskets early, but the Bucs went to the full court pressure and the result was a 12-0 burst by the Bucs that made it 51-39 with left in the game. ETSU held much of that lead for the next four minutes, but KSU rallied with a 6-0 spurt of its own to pull to within three at 59-56 with remaining. But that would be as close as
For the game, ETSU got a team high 18 points and eight rebounds from junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), while senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) and junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) scored 13 and 10, respectively. Sophomore guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) also had a big night on the boards, matching Tiggs with eight rebounds and helping the Bucs to a 38-30 advantage over KSU in that statistical category.
In the second half, ETSU shot 50 percent from the field and held the Owls to just 38 percent after allowing
The Bucs will head on the road for a pair of conference battles next weekend, facing Florida Gulf Coast at 7 p.m. Friday evening, and then taking on Stetson at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.