Second chance points kill ETSU in 86-83 loss to Belmont
Thursday, January 17, 2008


NASHVILLE (Jan. 17, 2008) - Junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) set a Curb Event Center record with 30 points and the ETSU men's basketball team shot an impressive 61 percent from the floor, but once again it was the Belmont Bruins that still found a way to beat the Buccaneers 86-83 in Atlantic Sun Conference play Thursday night.


The Buccaneers (8-9 overall, 2-2 A-Sun) were done in by 12 3-pointers by the Bruins - eight of which came in the second half. In addition, Belmont (11-7, 3-1) grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and turned those into a 25-12 advantage in second half points.


"Nobody hates losing more than I do, but I was encouraged with our effort," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team is now 1-5 against the Bruins since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06. "Our guys looked like a team tonight, which is something we didn't do against Gardner-Webb. We did a lot of good things, but not enough to win."


The Bucs fell behind 2-0 but from there never trailed again until 12 minutes left in the game when Belmont went up 58-56 on a lay up by Belmont's Will Peeples. While ETSU was able to take the lead back a couple of times from there, the Bruins ultimately held an advantage of as many as seven points at 75-68 with 4:58 left.


However, ETSU rallied again, and when Buc sophomore guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) was fouled on a defensive rebound with 13 seconds left, he converted the two free throws to make it 84-83. Belmont's Andy Wicke was fouled on the inbounds pass and hit his two shots from the charity stripe, and the Bucs' Courtney Pigram (Memphis) missed his 3-point attempt from the top of the key as time expired.


In the first half, the Buccaneers shot a blistering 63 percent from the floor and got 12 points each from posts Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) and Tiggs, building a lead of as many as 11 points at 38-27 with just over three minutes left in the half. However, despite hitting on just 38 percent of its shots before the intermission, the Bruins went 7-of-10 from the foul line compared to just 1-of-2 for the Bucs. It was that disparity that allowed Belmont to recover from the 11-point deficit and outscore the Bucs 10-2 to close out the half and make it 40-37 at the break.


For the game, Tiggs led all scorers, while Reed and Pigram netted 17 and 15 points, respectively. For Belmont, Wicke scored a game high 16 points, while Keaton Belcher added 14, Shane Dansby pitched in 13 and Justin Hare posted 12.


            The Bruins finished 12-of-30 from 3-point range for a 40 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc, while the Bucs were 18-of-21 from the foul line for an 86 percent clip. The Bucs committed just 15 turnovers, while the Bruins also valued the ball with just 13 turnovers themselves.


            ETSU will continue on a three-game road trip Saturday when they move just one mile up the road to take on A-Sun rival Lipscomb at 5:15 p.m. (EST). For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit