Pigram's historic night helps Bucs bounce Bruins
Pigram
Pigram

Friday, March 06, 2009

 

NASHVILLE (March 6, 2009) - Led by a game-high 30 points from senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), the ETSU men's basketball team finally ended Belmont's three-year run of Atlantic Sun Conference championships with an 88-74 victory over the Bruins Friday evening in the semifinals of the General Shale Brick A-Sun Championships at Allen Arena.

 

 On his way to his 30 points, Pigram eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for his career, moved past Keith "Mister" Jennings to stand third on the ETSU all-time scoring list, and became just the second player in A-Sun history to record 2,000 points for his career. Pigram was joined in double figures scoring by senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) with 21 points, junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) with 19, and sophomore forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) with 11.

 

"That was a great win over a good program," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "Courtney, Kevin, Mike, Tommy, and our entire roster contributed to that victory. We're happy to be in this position, but all year this team has known what it wants to accomplish and everyone in that locker room knows we still have work to be done."

 

Despite possessing the top two scoring offenses on the A-Sun, both the Bucs and Bruins got off to slow shooting starts to begin the game and the score stood at just 10-9 with 11:58 left before the intermission. From there, the lead changed six times until the Bucs took a 16-14 edge and extended their advantage to 10 points at 34-24 on a Pigram 3-pointer with 1:56 left in the half.

 

Belmont was able to regroup from there and collect the final five points of the half to make the score 34-29 at the break. In the first half, ETSU held Belmont to just 37 percent shooting and outrebounded the Bruins 18-16, forcing eight Belmont turnovers and shooting 43 percent from the floor.

 

The first half included an historic moment for Pigram, whose first field goal of the game at the 10:21 mark allowed him to move to No. 3 on the Bucs' all-time scoring list, passing Jennings who scored 1,988 points in his career. Pigram later added to the history with his 3-pointer at the 1:56 mark, which moved him past the 2,000-point scoring plateau. Pigram trails only Centenary's Willie Jackson on the scoring list, as Jackson finished his career with 2,535 points.

 

The second half opened with an 8-0 ETSU run that made the score 42-29 with 17:43 left, but Belmont immediately answered with its own 13-2 burst to get the game back to two points at 44-42 with just over 14 minutes left in the game.

 

Despite a pair of mini runs for the Bucs midway through the half that pushed the lead out to as many as 10 points, the ETSU advantage remained just two points at 72-70 with 3:16 left in regulation. However, from there the Bucs made five straight defensive stops and outscored the Bruins 16-4 the rest of the way to secure the victory

 

For the game, the Bucs shot 49 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Bisons 38-30, forcing 14 turnovers and hitting 79 percent of their free throws.

 

Belmont was led in scoring by Shane Dansby with 21, while both Andy Wicke and Keaton Belcher scored 15 apiece. Alex Renfroe led all players with 10 rebounds.

 

ETSU moves on to Saturday's championship game, which will pit the Bucs against the winner of Friday's nightcap between Jacksonville and Lipscomb. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (EST) and will air nationally on ESPN2.

 

Follow ETSU Athletics on Twitter Twitter and become a fan on Facebook Facebook.
MCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 13 of 22
WCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 23 of 29
VB ETSU 3 Charleston, S.C.
Nov 14 The Citadel 1
WBB ETSU 81 Final
Nov 14 University of North Carolina at Asheville 68
MBB ETSU 76 F
Nov 14 Valparaiso 90
VB ETSU 3 Macon, Ga.
Nov 15 Mercer University 1
WBB High Point University 76 Final
Nov 17 ETSU 84
MBB Virginia-Wise 66 F
Nov 18 ETSU 111
WBB Appalachian State University 76 Final
Nov 19 ETSU 70
WBB ETSU 79 Final
Nov 21 Saint Francis University 63
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. No. 5 Western Carolina (SoCon Quarterfinal)
MBB UNC Asheville Freedom Hall
Nov 22, 7:00 p.m. ETSU
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 23, 7:00 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament (Semifinals)
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 24, 7:00 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament (Championship)
MBB ETSU Rock Hill, S.C.
Nov 24, 7:00 p.m. Winthrop
WBB ETSU Terre Haute, Ind.
Nov 24, 8:00 p.m. Indiana State University
WBB ETSU Bloomington, Ind.
Nov 26, 2:00 p.m. Indiana University
WBB ETSU Blacksburg, Va.
Nov 29, 5:00 p.m. Virginia Tech University
MBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 1, 7:00 p.m. Morehead State