Pigram bomb drops Chattanooga in dramatic OT thriller, 71-70
Pigram bomb drops Chattanooga in dramatic OT thriller, 71-70
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

            JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 15, 2006) - ETSU sophomore guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) sank a long range 3-pointer from the right wing with 1.8 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the ETSU men's basketball team to a 71-70 win over former Southern Conference rival Chattanooga Wednesday night at Memorial Center.


            With the crowd of 5,588 on their feet, Chattanooga senior Casey Long scored four straight points in the final minute to erase a two-point ETSU advantage and give the Mocs the lead with 22 seconds remaining. Coming out of the time out, the Bucs ran a set play looking for Pigram and the sophomore came through, giving the Bucs the win.


            "That was a great shot. I was amazed myself," said Pigram, who also had a 3-point shot rim out at the end of regulation that would have won the game. "I'm glad I got a second chance. I rushed the first one, but that last play was a set play and we ran it. I was open and came through. Chattanooga is a great team and we just came away with the victory."


            Pigram finished with a career high 29 points in the game, while senior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) posted his seventh career double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The most important of those points from Nuckles came at the end of regulation, as the 6-foot-9 forward made a 3-pointer with 6:30 left in the second half to give the Bucs a 50-48 advantage - their only lead of the second half. He later made a pair of free throws with 59 seconds remaining that tied the game and forced the overtime period.


            In the first half, ETSU led by six early after a 6-0 run made it 13-7 with 12:55 remaining. Chattanooga answered with an 11-0 run at that point to take their largest lead of the half by five at 18-13. ETSU reciprocated with an 8-0 run of its own thanks in part to a pair of layups by Nuckles (Council, Va.) and led by three at 21-18 with 6:57 remaining. The two teams stayed close the rest of the way, with Chattanooga's Kevin Bridgewaters taking advantage of an ETSU turnover and dropping in a floater from the right wing at the buzzer to make it 29-29 at the intermission.


            For the game, ETSU shot just 37 percent from the floor, but also held Chattanooga to just 39 percent from outside. The Bucs used a 75 percent clip from the foul line to hit on 15 shots from the charity stripe, while Chattanooga was just 10-of-17 from the line for 58 percent.


            Chattanooga was led in scoring by senior guard Keddric Mays, who posted career highs with 26 points and eight 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Nicchaeus Doaks finished with 11 points, while Long finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.


            The Bucs (2-1) now prepare for a seven-game road trip over the next 23 days, beginning with a Sunday meeting with SEC foe Auburn beginning at 3 p.m. The game will air live on the Mountain States Health Alliance Buccaneer Sport Network and will be aired on free audio streaming at ETSUBUCS.com.