Bucs enjoy home opener, drop Eastern Kentucky 76-56
Saturday, November 17, 2007


            JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 17, 2007) - Four ETSU players scored in double figures led by a game-high 17 from senior post Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.), as the Buccaneers upended defending Ohio Valley Conference tournament champion Eastern Kentucky 76-56 Saturday in the home opener for ETSU at Memorial Center.


            Along with Reed's 17 points and eight rebounds, the Bucs got 16 points from junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), 14 from junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), and 10 from senior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna, Tenn.). While the Bucs' offense flowed with a 58 percent shooting clip from the floor, ETSU was just as impressive on the other end of the floor, holding the Colonels to just 33 percent shooting on the night.


            "This is a great win for us over an Eastern Kentucky team that made the NCAAs a year ago and returned a lot of players from that team," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team improved to 1-1 on the year and will now begin preparations for a road meeting with Conference USA foe Marshall Tuesday night. "We've had a great week of practice and I think that showed tonight. The thing I really look at is field goal percentage defense and tonight we did the job there. And I thought our shot distribution was good as well."


            In the early going, the Colonels (2-1) hit on a string of 3-point attempts to lead 9-8 just three minutes into the game. However, from there the Bucs would not trail again, retaking the advantage at 10-9 and leading by as many as 14 on a dunk by Swader that made it 28-14 with just under 11 minutes left in the half. By the end of the first 20 minutes, ETSU led 38-27.


            The Colonels' cold shooting continued after the intermission, as EKU hit on just 40 percent in the first half and just 25.9 percent in the second half. While EKU got to within 10 points on a couple of occasions, the Colonels were unable to get any closer and trailed by as many as 22 before falling by the final 20-point margin.


            For the game, the Bucs out-rebounded the Colonels 37-27 and collected 16 assists to just 14 turnovers. ETSU forced 15 turnovers by EKU and picked up six steals. From 3-point range, the Bucs hit on 41 percent of their shots (7-of-17), while holding the Colonels to a 26 percent clip (10-of-38).


            Swader joined Reed with a game-high eight rebounds, while Pigram collected a game-high five assists. For Eastern Kentucky, guard Mike Rose led the way with 13 points, while Josh Daniel and Josh Taylor collected 12 points, with Harrison Brown pitching in 10.


            The Bucs will return to action Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in Huntington, W.Va., taking on the Marshall Thundering Herd. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.