First half offensive surge lifts Bucs to 95-71 win over FGCU
Junior guard Courtney Pigram scored  a game high 28 points.
Junior guard Courtney Pigram scored a game high 28 points.

Friday, February 08, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2008) - A night after Belmont opened the door with a win over Jacksonville, the ETSU men's basketball team sprang to the top of the Atlantic Sun Conference standings with a 95-71 win over Florida Gulf Coast in the first ever meeting between the schools Friday night at Alico Arena.

 

With the win, ETSU (14-9 overall, 8-2 A-Sun) moves into a three-way tie with both Belmont and Jacksonville at the top of the league standings. Meanwhile, FGCU drops to 8-16, 4-6.

 

"We just jumped out quick and played really well," said Bartow, whose team has won six straight. "Shooting a percentage like that and forcing a lot of turnovers was big. I'm really proud of our guys. We had a great workout today and right now our confidence is really high."

 

For the game, five ETSU players reached double figures, with junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) leading the way with a game high 28 points, while junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) pitched in 19, senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) and senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) netted 14 each, and sophomore guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) added 10. The Bucs shot 55 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc, overwhelming the Eagles with their offensive efficiency, while defensively forcing 25 FGCU turnovers on 12 steals.

           

The offensive onslaught by the Bucs highlighted the first half, as ETSU scored a season best 54 points in the initial 20 minutes and led 54-32 at the break. With the score 16-11 in favor of the Bucs at the 11:53 mark, Swader slammed home a basket on an inbounds pass and ignited a 25-9 run that made it 41-20 with 6:16 left before the intermission. In all, the Bucs shot 65 percent from the field (20-of-31) and 47 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (7-of-15), with Pigram scoring 21 points and Tiggs tossing in 10.

 

            The Eagles battled in the second half, cutting the lead to 13 points at 82-69 with 5:36 remaining. But fortunately for the Bucs, a 3-pointer by Strong squelched the Eagles momentum and from there ETSU outscored FGCU 10-2 the rest of the way to win by 24.

 

            For FGCU, Delvin Franklin scored a game high 16 points, while Landon Adler pitched in 14 and Casey Wohlleb netted 11. The Eagles shot 48 percent from the field, but just 50 percent from the foul line.

 

            The Bucs will return to action on this Florida swing Sunday afternoon at Stetson with game time set for 3 p.m. The game will air live on video streaming at ASun.TV and fans can listen live at ETSUBucs.com.

 

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