STILLWATER, Okla. (Dec. 8, 2007) - Relinquishing a six-point lead midway through the second half, the ETSU men's basketball team went scoreless in the final 6:52 against Big 12 Conference member Oklahoma State, eventually falling 78-65 in non-conference action Saturday evening at the Gallagher-Iba Arena.
The Bucs (4-4) enjoyed their largest lead of the game at 55-49 on a 3-pointer by junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) with 13:02 left. However, with the score at 65-64 in favor of the Bucs with 6:52 left, Oklahoma State (5-3) went on to score the final 14 points and get the victory. Pigram finished with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting, but the Cowboys' James Anderson powered OSU with a game-high 26.
"That's just a seven minute stretch we'd like to forget," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team will continue on its five-game road trip with a venture to Syracuse next Saturday. "We were right there with a four-point lead in the final 10 minutes and just didn't get it done. You can't have 25 turnovers and expect to win against a Big 12 opponent, or even in our own league."
The box score looked good for the Bucs in many ways, as ETSU shot 51 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Cowboys 33-29. However, it was OSU's 40 percent shooting from 3-point range, a six-point advantage at the foul line, and the Bucs' 25 turnovers that were too much to overcome.
In the first half, the Buccaneers took an early 6-4 lead, but the Cowboys didn't let that stand and used a pair of offensive runs to build a lead of as many as 13 points at 28-15 with 10:43 left before the intermission. However, ETSU did not fold and used a 10-0 run of its own to cut the lead to one at 38-37 with just over 1:05 left on the clock. OSU's Anderson added a final free throw to go with his 18-point first half to give the Cowboys a 39-37 advantage at the break. It was the first time this season that the Bucs have trailed at the break.
The second half saw the Bucs bring the fight to OSU early and often, taking the lead at 41-39 with less than two minutes played in the second period. From there it was back and forth until the Bucs' offense went in the deep freeze.
Along with Pigram, junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) nearly picked up a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Other players in double figures included OSU's Terrel Harris and Byron Eaton with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
ETSU will play again next Saturday at 7 p.m. on the road at Syracuse. The game will be aired locally on WJHL (CBS). For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com.