JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 20, 2008) - On what turned out to be a historic regular season home opener, senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) became just the second ETSU men's basketball player in program history to record a triple-double and head coach Murry Bartow picked up his 200th career win, as the Buccaneers trounced non-conference foe Wingate 96-66 Thursday night at Memorial Center.
In front of a crowd of 2,750 fans, Pigram posted game-highs with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to steal the show. He joins former ETSU guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.), who posted the program's first triple-double against Kennesaw State back in 2006. While Pigram rewrote the record books, 6-11 freshman forward Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) also did his part with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) matched Pigram with 21 points to lead ETSU (2-2) to the win.
"Obviously, CP played a great game," said Bartow, who improved his head coaching record to 200-146 all-time. "Courtney played much better than he did in Charleston - really within himself. He played the way we need him to play, scoring 20 and shooting a high percentage. I thought Seth was outstanding as well. He's really becoming a crowd favorite, and it's really hard not to get too excited too quickly. We're talking about a guy that was playing junior varsity his junior year of high school. But tonight it was really a lot of fun to watch him play. He's a great kid."
The Bucs shot 60 percent from the floor for the game, and held Wingate (0-2) to just 31 percent from the field. ETSU out-rebounded the Bulldogs 45-33, and forced 20 turnovers, while shooting a strong 78 percent (21-of-27) from the foul line.
Despite the solid numbers, the game did not start well for the Bucs, as Wingate hit a pair of 3-pointers early to take an eight-point lead at 12-4. However, from there the Bucs went to the "12-feet and in" offense, slashing to the basket and finding Coy in the middle of the paint for point-blank shots. The result was a nine-minute stretch of action that saw the Bucs outscore Wingate 33-13 and take a 37-25 lead with five minutes left in the half.
The first half ended with ETSU leading 43-31, and the Bucs poured it on the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 53-35 in the final 20 minutes to take the 30-point win, 96-66.
Along with Pigram, Smith and Coy, junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) added 12 points and four rebounds. For Wingate, Jamie Vaughn led the way with 16 points, while Kenny Villines added 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Bucs will return to action Monday evening, Nov. 24 at former Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (EST) and the live radio broadcast will be available on the MSHA Buccaneer Sports Network. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.