Buccaneer athletics to team up with Second Harvest Food Bank to collect donated food, and offer half-price tickets to game with the Mocs
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 16, 2008) - Off to its best start since the 2003-04 season, the ETSU men's basketball team welcomes an old rival Wednesday night, as the Buccaneers return home for the first time in nearly a month to take on former Southern Conference foe Chattanooga at 7 p.m. inside Memorial Center.
The Bucs (6-3) and Mocs (1-6) have met 73 times over the last 80-plus years, with Chattanooga leading the back-and-forth series 41-32. ETSU won the last meeting inside Memorial Center thanks to a last-second 3-pointer by guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) back in 2006, but the Mocs returned the favor by coming back from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat the Bucs 82-78 last season in Chattanooga.
Wednesday's game will be highlighted by a special ticket promotion, as the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee are teaming up to collect donated food for the needy. Any fans wishing to participate can receive a general admission ticket for half price - just $5 - when they bring TWO cans of food to the gate. The specific items requested include: cereal, peanut butter, canned meats, canned soups, canned fruits & vegetables, boxed meals and macaroni & cheese.
Fans planning to participate in tomorrow night's discounted ticket should bring can goods to Memorial Center's west auxiliary gym closest to State of Franklin to purchase their half-price ticket. Fans will not be able to purchase the half-price ticket at the ticket booths in front of Memorial Center. ETSU is also encouraging all season ticket holders and fans to bring can goods to help Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and to "Can Chatt!"
For more information on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.
The series against Chattanooga
In what is widely considered the longest and most heated rivalry in ETSU basketball history, the Bucs and Mocs have met 73 times with ETSU trailing the all-time series 32 to 41 ... The two teams shared the same conference from 1979 to 2005, spending several years battling in the Southern Conference ... The Bucs lost the last meeting a year ago, 82-78 ... That game is just one of many dramatic moments in this series, which includes wins by ETSU in the 1991, 1992, 2003 and 2004 Southern Conference Tournament championship game.
Last time against Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Nov. 28, 2007) - Committing 30 fouls, giving up 31 points at the free throw line and getting out-rebounded 56-33, the ETSU men's basketball team relinquished a 13-point halftime lead to former Southern Conference rival Chattanooga in an 80-76 non-conference loss at the McKenzie Arena ... The Buccaneers, who led 40-27 at the half, could not keep the momentum in the second 20 minutes, as Chattanooga scored 55 points after the break. Overlooked in the loss was a major accomplishment by junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who reached the 1,000-point plateau with a basket at the 17:52 mark of the first half ... Indeed, the Bucs have been frustrated on the road, losing by four at Dayton in the season opener, by one in overtime at Marshall, and now by four at rival Chattanooga. In all three games, the Bucs have held double digit leads only to see their opponents rally back from the foul line and with offensive rebounds. This game was no different ... Leading by as many as 16 points with just over three minutes left in the first half, ETSU eventually led 40-27 at the break. However, Chattanooga came out in the second half and took advantage of ETSU's fouling issues, as the Mocs were in the bonus by the first media time out with 15:50 left in the game. Ultimately, UTC's defensive stops, foul shots and rebounding would get them to a tie game at 56-56 with just over nine minutes left in the game ... A Pigram 3-pointer made it 59-56 ETSU, but from there the Mocs regained the lead thanks to five straight points from guard Stephon McDowell and never gave up the advantage for the final eight minutes ... Chattanooga out-rebounded the Bucs 56-33 and the Mocs were 31-of-44 from the foul line compared to ETSU's 17-of-23 clip from the line. More disturbing for ETSU was the fact that the Mocs shot just 37 percent from the floor for the game ... The Bucs were led by 20 points from junior Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), while Pigram had 19. Senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) had 12 points, while senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.). For Chattanooga, Nicchaeus Doaks had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while McDowell pitched in 19 points, and Kevin Goffney had 15.
Last time out
BOONE, N.C. (Dec. 13, 2008) - ETSU's three-headed monster of Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) left Appalachian State searching for a place to hide inside the Holmes Center ... Renewing a longtime rivalry that dates back to the 1920s, the Buccaneers continued their masterful play on the road, overcoming a two-point halftime deficit to simply dismantle the Mountaineers with a 54-point second half, winning 89-70 in non-conference action. The Bucs were led by Tiggs, who matched his career high with a game-high 31 points, while Pigram posted 29 and Smith pitched in 18. No player on the ASU side of the floor matched any of the Big Three in scoring on the night ... A big key for the Bucs in the game came at the foul line, where they went 23-of-26 for an 89 percent clip. Meanwhile, defensively ETSU forced 21 Appalachian State turnovers on 13 steals, and the Bucs held their own on the glass against a powerful inside game for the Mountaineers, being out-rebounded just 41-35 on the glass ... For the third game in a row, the Buccaneers got off to a strong start offensively, with Tiggs picking up three early dunks and a pair of 3-pointers from Pigram powering the Bucs to a 19-12 lead with 11:46 left in the first half. However, the Mountaineers answered by outscoring the Bucs 23-10 over the next nine minutes to build a 35-29 lead at the 2:39 mark, but ETSU managed to cut into the advantage thanks to four straight free throws from Smith and Tiggs in the final seconds, making the score 37-35 in favor of ASU at the break ... The second half began with a flurry for the Bucs, who shot out with a quick 7-0 run to lead by five at 42-37. ASU responded to tie the game at 42, but another 8-0 ETSU run powered by a Tiggs' bucket and foul shot, along with a 3-pointer from Pigram made it 50-42 and forced an ASU timeout with 16:09 left in the game. With the game standing at 58-52 with 10:47 left, the Bucs blitzed out with a 12-0 run that was eventually highlighted by a technical foul on ASU head coach Houston Fancher, which left the Bucs up 70-52 with 8:18 remaining ... ETSU kept the pressure on over the next four minutes, building the lead to 21 at 80-59 on a layup by Pigram with 4:24 left, and ultimately cruising to the win.
Best start for Bucs since 2003-04
ETSU's 6-3 start may be a good omen for the team ... The start is the best for ETSU since the 2003-04 season, when that team opened the year at 7-2 through nine 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.
Bucs currently 22nd in national RPI ranking
According to RealtimeRPI.com, the Buccaneers are ranked 22nd in the country with the nation's 10th toughest strength of schedule (SOS)... Helping the Bucs numbers in the RPI are road wins at Tennessee Tech, Marshall, Mercer and Appalachian State ... 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 ... In addition, Temple -- which played ETSU earlier this season -- enjoyed a blowout win over No. 8 Tennessee last weekend, also boosting the Bucs' numbers.
Tiggs currently ranked among nation's best scorers
Having scored 83 points in just the last three games, ETSU senior Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) currently ranks 22nd in the country in scoring with 20.9 points per game ... Tiggs leads the Atlantic Sun Conference in points, while senior teammate Courtney Pigram (Memphis) is just behind in second place at 18.4 a contest.
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.
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.
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.