Bucs hope to close out perfect homestand with win over USC Upstate
Sunday, January 25, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 26, 2009) -- Looking to keep pace with Jacksonville at the top of the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the ETSU men's basketball team will take on USC Upstate Monday evening in the final game of the Buccaneers' current four-game homestand. The Bucs and Spartans will tip at 7 p.m. inside Memorial Center, and the game will air live throughout the southeast on CSS.

With a win, ETSU (14-5, 8-1 A-Sun) would move back into a tie with Jacksonville at 9-1 in league play, and set up a critical matchup with the Dolphins later this week, as the two teams will meet Friday in Jacksonville. That game will also air on CSS.

Fans who cannot attend the game in Memorial Center or watch at home on CSS can access the live video stream of the game at ASun.TV, or listen to the matchup courtesy of free audio streaming at ETSUBucs.com.

For more on Monday's game, click on the game notes link above or read the game notes located below:


The series against USC Upstate

This will be just the second meeting between the Bucs and Spartans, as USC Upstate moved up to Division I last season ... ETSU won the first meeting in overtime 86-80 last year in Spartanburg.

Last time against USC Upstate

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (March 1, 2008) - On the same day he eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career, senior Travis Strong (Memphis) hit a running lay up to force overtime, and junior guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) went on to score seven critical points in the extra period to lift the ETSU men's basketball team to a 86-80 win over USC Upstate in the regular season finale for both teams at the G.B. Hodge Center ... Davis' efforts came when the Buccaneers needed it most , as junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) fouled out in the final minutes of regulation after scoring 18 of his team-high 22 points in the second half to rally the Bucs from a nine-point halftime deficit. Along with Davis, junior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) added five of his 15 points in the overtime period to pace the Bucs' offensive effort ... The first half was all Upstate, as the Spartans shot 44 percent from 3-point range and took advantage of ETSU's 14 turnovers to lead by as many as 18 points 43-25 with 2:06 left before the intermission. At that point, the Bucs did manage a small rally, getting four points off the bench from Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and scoring the final nine points of the half to trail 43-34 at the break ... Also in the first half, Strong - who entered the game four points shy of 1,000 for his career - hit a 3-pointer in the early going and later eclipsed that special mark with a 3-pointer from the left wing at the 9:10 mark of the first half. Strong finished with 16 points on the night, including the overtime-forcing lay up with 17 seconds remaining in regulation ... In the second half, ETSU slowly chipped away at the Upstate lead, ultimately taking the advantage at the 9:47 mark 54-53 on a jumper by Swader. In overtime, Swader scored the first three points, followed by five straight from Davis to make it a seven-point game at 79-72. Upstate senior guard Luke Payne hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minutes to make it 81-78, but the Bucs held on for the win ... While Pigram scored a team-high 22 points, he was joined in double figures by Strong with 16, Swader with 15 and Davis with 11. Senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) finished with a game-high 13 rebounds. The Bucs shot 51 percent for the game, and grabbed 12 steals on the night.

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2009) - Senior Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) scored a game high 27 points and junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) posted a season high 22 as the ETSU men's basketball team held off a stingy Campbell squad 79-60 Thursday night in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Memorial Center ... The crowd of 3,239 looked on as the Bucs improved to 14-5 overall, 8-1 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, Campbell dropped to 7-11, 4-5 ... The Bucs shot an impressive 53 percent from the floor and were hitting at a 73 percent clip from the foul line, while holding Campbell to just 39 percent from the floor. In addition, the Bucs outrebounded the Camels 36-32 and forced 22 turnovers ... In the first half, the Bucs picked up where they left off earlier in the week during a 30-point win over Belmont - employing a stifling defense and effective transition offense. The result was a 23-6 run midway through the first 20 minutes that left ETSU holding a 37-15 lead at the 5:15 mark. It could have been worse for Campbell, but the Camels put together a rally of their own and outscored the Bucs 17-3 over the final five minutes to make it 40-32 at the break ...

The second half began with Campbell continuing its run and making it 40-37 with five straight points. However, from there the Bucs finally found their rhythm again on offense with a 16-4 burst to make it 57-41 with 13:40 left in the game. The Camels would cut the lead to eight points once again at 64-56 with 7:12 left, but Tiggs would score 10 points to power a 15-4 run by ETSU over the next three minutes to make it 79-60 and basically close out the game for the Bucs with 3:11 left ... For Campbell, William Kossangue led the way offensively with 18 points, while Junard Hartley pitched 11.

Three 1,000-point scoreres on the same team?

While it is not rare to have multiple players on the same team that "eventually" become 1,000-point scorers, having multiple players on the same team that have already eclipsed 1,000-points is rare ... This season, the Bucs have a possibility of having three players that have all reached 1,000 points in their careers ... Those players include Courtney Pigram (Memphis), Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) ... Currently, Pigram has already reached that mark and stands at 1,807 points for his career, while Tiggs has 869 points and Smith has posted 854 for his career ... With a guaranteed 12 games left, Tiggs would have to average 10.9 points a game and Smith would need 12.2 a contest to reach 1,000 points ... The only two times in ETSU history that the Bucs have had three or more 1,000 point scorers on the floor at the same time was in 1990-91 and 2003-04 ... In 1990-91, four 1,000-point scorers were on the floor together at the same time, Keith "Mister" Jennings, Calvin Talford, Major Geer and Alvin West were on the floor together ... The other season this occurred was in 2003-04, when Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood and Tim Smith all reached 1,000 points.

Pigram, Tiggs impressive on offensive end in 2008-09

Seniors Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) have enjoyed impressive offensive performances this season, and the two rank among the nation's best when it comes to offensive production ... As of Jan. 18, Tiggs leads the Atlantic Sun Conference and ranks 21st nationally with a 20.7 points per game average, while Pigram ranks second in the A-Sun and 33rd nationally with 19.5 points a game ... In addition, Pigram has moved to 5th on the ETSU all-time scoring list with 1,807 points in his career, passing former ETSU great Tom Chilton ... He ranks 10th on the A-Sun all-time scoring list ... Additionally, Pigram is one of just four active players nationally with more than 1,500 points, 350 assists and 200 steals in their careers ... That list includes:

Player, School......................................................Asts Stls Pts

David Holston, Chicago State 419 204 1959

Courtney Pigram, ETSU 357 207 1801

Dominic James, Marquette 576 208 1631

Jerel McNeal, Marquette 375 245 1606

Pigram remarkable in 39-point effort against JU

He had "that" look, and ETSU fans were treated to one of the most impressive individual performances in Buccaneer basketball history ... Senior guard Courtney Pigram's 39-point effort in ETSU's 84-82 victory over Jacksonville in Jan. 3 tied for 9th on the program's all-time single game scoring list, while coming up just three points shy of the Memorial Center's all-time single game scoring mark of 42 points, which was set by Dimeco Childress against Western Carolina back in 2002.

ETSU the "only" A-Sun team picked among nation's best "Prestige" programs

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 22, 2008) - Since the beginning of the modern era for NCAA Division I-A basketball - marked by the expansion of the NCAA Tournament field to 64 teams in 1984-85 - the ETSU men's basketball program ranks in the Top 30 percent of the 300 programs that were eligible for the postseason at that time, this according to a new "Prestige" ranking released by ESPN.com ... The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed six NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, seven 20-win seasons, and a slew of conference regular season and tournament championships since 1984-85, ranked tied for 82nd out of 300 teams, meaning they were in the Top 27 percent of schools making the list. ETSU was ranked ahead of every current Atlantic Sun Conference team, as well as former Southern Conference rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. The Bucs also were placed ahead of every current member of the Colonial Athletic Association with the exception of Old Dominion ... In addition, the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as other major programs such as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson, California and Florida State.

14-5 start ranks as one of best ever for Bucs

The Bucs 14-5 mark matches is the best start for ETSU since the 2003-04 season, when that team opened the year at 15-4 through 19 games ... The Bucs' three non-conference road wins this season (Tn. Tech, Marshall and Appalachian), also fall just one win shy of the 2003-04 season in which the Bucs won four non-conference road games (Houston, UNC-A, Tn. Tech and Fresno State) ... That 2003-04 squad ultimately finished with 27 wins, a SoCon regular season and tournament title, and a trip to the NCAAs.

Getting defensive and stopping 3-pointers

During the offseason, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow renewed his team's commitment to the defensive end of the floor, promoting assistant coach Scott Wagers to defensive coordinator and empowering the ninth-year assistant to lock down ETSU's opponents ... The main concerns in recent years have been perimeter defense, as a year ago the Bucs averaged a hefty 78.6 points per game, but allowed 77.2 a contest ... This year, those numbers have improved as the Bucs are fourth in the league in scoring defense (68.7) and fifth in 3-point field goal defense (.330) ... But most impressive is the fact the Bucs lead the A-Sun in field goal percentage defense, allowing teams to shoot just 40 percent from the floor.

Hamlin matches team block record

With his six blocks against North Florida, senior Greg Hamlin (Flint, Mich.) put his name along some of ETSU's greatest players ... Hamlin matched the school record for blocks in a game, joining former Bucs Brad Nuckles, Greg Dennis, Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood and Eryk Thomas on top of that list.

Pigram makes history with triple-double

With his 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Wingate (11/20), senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) became just the second ETSU player to record a triple-double and the first to reach that special feat in NCAA Division I play this season ... He joins former Buc Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) on that exclusive list at ETSU ... In Atlantic Sun Conference play, Pigram is just the sixth player to accomplish that feat since 1996-97, and he is the first to post a triple-double against a non-conference opponent.

Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 125-39 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 76 percent ... The Bucs had won five straight at Memorial Center during the 2006-07 season before a loss to Belmont (1/2) ... The Bucs then rattled off 10 straight at home to stand at 15-1 on the Memorial Center floor that season, but fell to Belmont in the championship of the A-Sun Tourney... In 2007-08, the Bucs were 11-2 at Memorial Center ... This season the Bucs are 7-1 at home.