BOONE, N.C. (Dec. 13, 2008) -- Having won three out of four games during a current five-game road swing, the ETSU men's basketball team will look to keep their good fortunes going as the Buccaneers travel to face longtime rival Appalachian State Saturday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside the Holmes Center on the campus of ASU.
The Buccaneers (5-3 overall) and the Mountaineers (4-2) will be renewing a rivalry that dates back to the 1920s and includes a 25-year run as conference foes in the Southern Conference from 1979 to 2005. ETSU leads the all-time series 74-46.
Fans who are unable to make short drive to Boone will be able to listen to the game live on the radio courtesy of the Mountain States Health Alliance Buccaneer Sports Network, or on-line at ETSUBucs.com. Live video of the game will be available at www.GoASU.com, or by clicking the link located above.
For more statistics and information on the matchup, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link above.
A seven-time NCAA Tournament and two-time NIT participant, the ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2008-09 season having come up just one win shy of the 20-win mark in 2007-08 and looking to avenge a hard fought loss to Belmont in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament ... With a 19-13 overall mark and a third place finish in regular season league action (11-5) a year ago, the Bucs return their top two and three of their top six scorers from a year ago, led by first-team All Atlantic Sun selection Courtney Pigram (Memphis) ... The 6-1 guard will begin his senior campaign with 1,445 career points after having averaged a team-leading 15.8 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals a game last year .... Pigram will be joined by senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), who helped power the offense with 14.6 points and a team-high 2.9 offensive rebounds a game last season en route to earning second team All A-Sun honors.
The series against Appalachian State
When the Bucs and Mountaineers renew their long rivalry again Saturday, they will continue a series that dates back to 1928 ... In all, the Bucs enjoy a 74-46 advantage in the series, including a win in the last meeting 72-69 at Memorial Center on Dec. 30, 2007 ... The two teams were SoCon rivals for over 25 years from 1979 to 2005, until the Bucs moved to the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2005.
Last time against Appalachian State
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 30, 2007) - The ETSU men's basketball team held on despite a 14-0 offensive explosion by Appalachian State in the final three minutes to take an important non-conference victory over its former Southern Conference rival 72-69 at Memorial Center. It was the first meeting between the old foes since the 2004-05 campaign, ETSU's last in the SoCon ... The crowd of 5,017 got a dramatic end to a game that had been dominated throughout by the Buccaneers. Leading 66-50 with 3:49 left in the game, the Bucs' defense looked on as the Mountaineers found their shooting touch and connected on four 3-pointers and a pair of free throws to make it 66-64 with just under a minute remaining ... From there, the Bucs went a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line to ice the game. Senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) was the story of the game, netting a career high 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds for his fourth career double-double. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) turned in the No. 23 jersey he started wearing this season and returned to his freshman No. 1, responding with a season high 15 points ... The Bucs built an early lead in the first half thanks mainly to a stingy 2-3 zone and some poor shooting by the Mountaineers. In the end, the Bucs hit on 58 percent of their shots in the first half and Appalachian State managed just a 23 percent clip to trail 38-20 at the intermission ... From there, ETSU actually built leads of 20 points twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half, and ultimately held its largest lead of the game at 53-32 with 11:43 remaining in the contest.
Last time out
MACON, Ga. (Dec. 5, 2008) - Despite facing a team that had picked up impressive non-conference wins over Southeastern Conference members Alabama and Auburn earlier this season, the ETSU men's basketball team made a statement in its Atlantic Sun Conference opener ... Powered by a game-high 21 points from senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and another 20 from junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), the Buccaneers dropped the Mercer Bears 81-61 Friday evening at the University Center. With the win, ETSU improves to 5-3 overall, 1-0 in A-Sun play, while Mercer dropped to 6-3, 1-1 ... The Bucs came out strong in the first half for the second straight game, building an early seven point lead when a Courtney Pigram (Memphis) layup found the bottom of the net and made it 18-11 with 11:36 remaining in the half. The ETSU lead would grow to as many as nine points at 32-23 with 3:34 left, and it would remain nine thanks to a defensive stop by the Bucs with just five seconds left in the half. A subsequent tip-in score by Smith made it 37-28 as time expired ... ETSU's defensive effort was the key in the first 20 minutes, making several stops and holding Mercer to a low shooting percentage. Tiggs scored 12 points to lead the Bucs in the first half, while Smith added nine to the cause ... The second half - which included the ejection of Mercer head coach Bob Hoffmann with 12:42 left in the game for receiving his second technical foul of the contest - saw the Bucs continue to build the lead early, and back-to-back 3-pointers by Tiggs and Smith made it 56-36 with 13:16 left in the game. ETSU would lead by as many as 22 in the second half and ultimately won by 20 ... Along with Tiggs and Smith, sophomore guard Micah Williams (Manchester) scored a season high 13 points, while Pigram added 12 to the cause.
Bucs ranked high in the national RPI
According to RealtimeRPI.com, the Buccaneers are ranked 41st in the country with the nation's 26th toughest schedule strength ... Helping the Bucs numbers in the RPI are road wins at Tennessee Tech, Marshall and Mercer ... And with Mercer's wins over SEC foes Auburn and Alabma, and a near upset over Georgia Tech, ETSU's 20-point win on the Bears' home floor helped boost the Bucs ranking.
Tiggs earns third career POTW
MACON, Ga. (Dec. 9, 2008) - ETSU's Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) continued his career dominance against Marshall and Mercer en route to winning the third Player of the Week award of his career, the Atlantic Sun Conference office announced on earlier this week ... Tiggs enjoyed two fantastic games last week, scoring a career high 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting in a win at Marshall and also posted four steals. The senior from Flint, Mich., followed up that performance with a game-high 21 points in a victory against Mercer, while dishing out four assists and grabbing seven boards. In his three career games against Marshall, Tiggs has scored 81 points ... For the week, Tiggs averaged 26 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 3.0 steals per game. He shot 55 percent from the floor, including a 40 percent clip from beyond the arc.
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 ... A full list of those players can be found below:
A-Sun Triple Doubles
Player School Date Opp Pt-Rb-Ast
Courtney Pigram ETSU 11/20/08 Wingate 21-10-10
Tim Smith ETSU 1/25/06 KSU 21-10-10
Damitrius Coleman Mercer 2/27/05 JU 13-14-14
Damitrius Coleman Mercer 1/03/05 FAU 14-12-11
Kingsley Edwards UCF 1/16/05 Troy 10-10-14
Dexter Lyons UCF 1/11/03 Troy 14-13-10
Bartow reaches 100th victory at ETSU;
recently eclipsed 200 career wins with Wingate victory
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow reached 100 wins at ETSU with the Buccaneers 81-61 win over Mercer (12/5), a milestone which comes after just having reached 200 career coaching wins as the Buccaneers defeated Wingate (11/20) ... Bartow is now 203-146 for his career, a 59 percent winning percentage ... Bartow, the son of legendary coach Gene Bartow, is also 100-64 (.610) at ETSU, which gives him the best winning percentage in school history ... In his previous five seasons at ETSU, Bartow has averaged 19 wins a year.
Senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) will never again play against Marshall -- and the Thundering Herd could not be happier ... In three career games against the Herd, Tiggs combined to score a remarkable 81 points, including 31 in the Buccaneers' 76-72 win on Tuesday night ... A year ago, Tiggs posted 24 and 26 points in two games against the Herd ... Having been recruited by Marshall out of junior college, the Bucs were certainly glad to have Tiggs in a blue and gold uniform against Marshall.
Smith stepping up in junior year
In his first seven games this season, 6-foot-6 junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) has done his part and then some ... Currently, Smith is third on the team 14.6 points per game and is averaging a team-best 7.3 rebounds a game ... Smith is shooting 47 percent from the floor and has posted a team-best 2.3 steals per game ... Smith, who has scored 716 points in his career, was named a team captain and has fit that role well.
Hamlin, Brown step up in Coy's absence
After freshman Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) earned a spot in the Bucs' starting five, there was a lot of hope for the 6-11 post ... However, after a foot injury sidelined Coy for the Tennessee Tech game, the Bucs turned to 6-7 senior forward Greg Hamlin (Flint, Mich.) and 6-8 freshman post Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) to step in and pick up the slack ... The two responded in a fine fashion ... Hamlin posted his career best game, scoring eight points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out three assists and blocking three shots ... Meanwhile, Brown posted eight points and five boards ... The coaches would take a combined 16 points and 12 rebounds from the duo each night ... Against Marshall, the two combined for 14 points and 11 rebounds, and against Mercer the pair combined for 12 points and seven rebounds ... The Bucs are 3-1 since Brown and Hamlin were inserted into the starting lineup, with the two combining for a double-double in the two victories.
ETSU picked among nation's best
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.
Non-conference home win streak at 18
Over the last five seasons, the Bucs have fared well against non-conference opponents within the confines of Memorial Center ... In fact, the Bucs have won 18 straight non-conference home games since losing a 90-73 contest to Fresno State back on Nov. 27, 2004 ... ETSU has wins over teams such as Marshall (twice), Tennessee Tech (twice), Chattanooga, Central Michigan, Morehead State, UNC Asheville, Eastern Kentucky, Radford and Appalachian State during that time frame.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 119-38 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.