TORONTO, Canada (Aug. 30, 2008) - Displaying an intense man-to-man defense and rushing out to a 16-point lead after one quarter, the ETSU men's basketball team cruised to an 88-60 victory over the University of Guelph Saturday in the Buccaneers' first of four games during a Labor Day weekend exhibition swing.
While the Bucs' defensive efforts resulted in 26 turnovers and held Guelph to just 32 percent shooting from the field, the team got its offensive firepower from both a usual suspect and a surprising returner. Senior Courtney Pigram (Memphis) scored a game-high 23 points, while sophomore Tommy Hubbard (Boston) pitched in 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 23 minutes of floor time.
"It was a good start and a chance to see everybody play," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team played under international basketball rules including 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock. "It's obviously very early, but defensively I saw a lot of good things. We played with a lot more intensity on that end than we did a year ago and that was very encouraging. And we don't even have any zones or presses in yet.
"Courtney gave us what we have come to expect, but Tommy really stood out and was a bright spot for us. He played hard, was aggressive, and really seemed to be all over the court. As for the new guys they all gave us some quality minutes and did some good things. All in all it was a good start."
Despite standing just 6-3, Hubbard actually started the game in the post and he didn't disappoint, pulling down rebounds and holding his own with the bigger players inside. Meanwhile, sophomore Isiah Brown (Miami) grabbed seven rebounds in just under 10 minutes of play, while junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) pitched in 11 points.
The Bucs will play two more games on Sunday at Sheridan University, with a noon matchup against Waterloo, followed by a 7 p.m. meeting with host Sheridan. On Monday, the team will wrap up the trip with a noon contest at the University of Toronto.