Saturday, November 24, 2007
"What can you say about that kind of win except, ‘Wow!'," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team improved to 2-2 on the season. "This says a lot about this team. To face another tough game on the road and find a way to get the win is special. What can you say about Kevin and his play at the end, and Travis Strong really stepped up for us tonight."
Indeed, while Tiggs scored 18 including the game winner, fifth-year senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) showed up in a big way, tying his career high for 3-pointers with five and scoring a season high 23 points. Meanwhile, senior forward Andrew Reed (Port
For the Bucs, the game looked like a repeat story of close loses at
While the Bucs led most of the way, the Bulldogs (5-1) rallied back to tie the game at 54 and actually led by as many as five with 7:20 left in the regulation. While the two teams traded baskets the rest of the way, it was sophomore guard Mike Smith (
Overtime was a back-and-forth affair as well, but it was the final six seconds that will be long remembered. With ETSU trailing by two at 87-85, the Bucs had possession and put the ball in
ETSU quickly ran an inbounds play to Reed who tied the game with five seconds left on a lay up. Unbelievably, James then committed his second turnover in just two seconds, throwing the ball off the hands of a teammate and into the waiting arms of Tiggs, who drove to the basket to score the winning bucket with 1.7 remaining.
The Bucs got out to a sluggish start in the first half, trailing 8-4 at the first media timeout with 15:45 remaining before intermission. UNC Asheville's giant 7-foot-7 Kenny George blocked three shots in the opening minutes and scored five points, disrupting the ETSU offense often but having to go to the bench later in the half with two fouls. George ultimately was one of the stories of the game, finishing with 13 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks, basically taking over game with his enormous presence and wing span.
In the end, the Bucs had a quality stat line with just 16 turnovers and 15 assists, picking up 10 steals and forcing 25 UNCA turnovers. ETSU shot 46 percent from the floor, 44 percent from the foul line and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 43-41.
ETSU will return to the road Wednesday night, renewing its former Southern Conference rivalry with
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