ETSU uses dominant first half to race past Milligan, 73-47
ETSU uses dominant first half to race past Milligan, 73-47
Saturday, December 9, 2006


                JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 9, 2006) - Preparing for a 10-day break to take final exams, the ETSU men's basketball team took advantage of one last opportunity to play before hitting the books. The Buccaneers shot 42 percent from 3-point range and hit a season high 11 3-pointers, holding Milligan to just 15 points in the first half to cruise to a 73-47 victory over the Buffaloes Saturday in front of 4,032 fans inside Memorial Center.


            Sophomore guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) led the way for ETSU, scoring a game-high 23 points, while freshman guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) pitched in a career high 20-point effort. Senior forward Eryk Thomas (Fremont, Calif.) was the only other Buccaneer to reach double figures with 11 points, while sophomore guard Tayloe Taylor (Memphis) matched his career high for assists with nine. Thomas also set a career high and matched the program record for blocks in a game with six.


            "I'm always pleased with a win, but obviously there is still room to improve," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team improved to 6-5 on the season. "We still had way too many turnovers and gave our opponent way too many offensive rebounds. I thought we had some lapses in the second half, which happens when you're way up at halftime.


"The good things obviously were holding them to 25 percent shooting and 15 points in first half. I thought the last five minutes of the first half were great. Both Mike Smith and Courtney Pigram played well for us."


            The Bucs certainly closed out the first half in style, taking a 21-12 game at the 7:57 mark and making it 41-15 at the half. Key to the run was ETSU's defensive effort, which held Milligan to just 16 percent shooting in the first half and allowed the Buffaloes to score just three points over the final eight minutes of the half.


            Milligan made more happen offensively in the second half, matching ETSU 32-32 after the intermission. For Milligan, Zach Dezarn was the lone player to reach double figures with 10 points.


            For the game, ETSU hit on 47 percent of its shots from the field and was 60 percent from the foul line. The Bucs out-rebounded Milligan 45-39, while collecting 10 blocks and 10 steals in the game.


            The Bucs will return to action Dec. 19 at home against UNC Asheville. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be available on live video streaming at