ETSU men must regroup quickly, face Lipscomb Monday night
Sunday, February 15, 2009

NASHVILLE (Feb. 16, 2009) -- With its regular season title hopes in jeopardy, the ETSU men's basketball team must end its only two-game losing streak of the season Monday night when the Buccaneers face Atlantic Sun Conference foe Lipscomb inside Allen Arena. Tip is set for 8 p.m. (EST).

Coming off another heartbreaking loss to Belmont Saturday evening 76-73, the Bucs must regroup and prepare for the Bisons, who just defeated Belmont four days ago on the same floor. Tied with Belmont for second place in the A-Sun at 11-4, both teams are just one game back of Jacksonville in the league race and still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the postseason tournament.

On an historic note, ETSU senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) enters Monday's game just eight points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career. Tiggs is coming off a game-high 25 points Saturday against Belmont.

For more on Monday's game, click on the game notes above or read the notes below: 


The series against Lipscomb

The Bucs and Bisons have met 34 times in their histories, with ETSU holding a 26-8 advantage ... Currently, the Bucs have a seven-game winning streak over the Bisons, including a 85-82 overtime victory over Lipscomb back on Jan. 17 in the quarterfinals of the A-Sun Tournament ... ETSU has swept three meetings in each of the last two years, while Lipscomb swept the Bucs in 2005-06 � their first season in the A-Sun.

Last time against Lipscomb

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 17, 2009) - Overcoming a 15-point halftime deficit, senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) forced overtime on a game-tying layup with .7 seconds left in regulation, and the ETSU men's basketball team went on to outscore Atlantic Sun Conference foe Lipscomb 12-9 in the extra period to take a hard-fought 85-82 win Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Center ... The Buccaneers got a team high 27 points from senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), while Pigram finished with 26, and junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) pitched in 10. Most importantly, freshman point guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) came off the bench to play his best game so far, scoring 12 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out six assists in 30 minutes of floor time ... Trailing by as many as 17 in the first half and facing a 45-30 game at the break, the second half started in much the same fashion for the Bucs, with ETSU struggling and Lipscomb holding onto its 15-point lead at 51-36 with just over 15 minutes left in the game. However, at that point the ETSU rally began ... Over the next seven minutes, ETSU went to its fullcourt pressure game and outscored the Bisons 22-7 to tie the game at 58-58 on a pair of free throws from Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) with 8:56 left in the contest. ETSU finally got its first lead of the game with 7:10 left on a pair of free throws from Pigram that made it 64-62. The Bucs' lead increased to four at that point, but Lipscomb managed an 8-1 run of its own to regain a 70-67 advantage with 3:37 left in the game. A pair of alley-oop baskets from Tiggs - including a slam dunk with 2:36 - regained the lead for ETSU at 71-70 with 2:36 left ... From there, Lipscomb stopped two ETSU scoring opportunities and regained the advantage when a shot by senior guard Michael Lusk missed the mark and sophomore forward Adnan Hodzic hit the put-back layup to make it 72-71 with 15 seconds left. Tiggs turned the ball over on the next possession with 13 seconds left, and after Jimmy Oden made the first and missed the second of two foul shots, Pigram got the ball and scored the game-tying basket with .7 seconds left ... In the extra period, Lipscomb scored the first four points, but a 3-pointer by ETSU freshman Jarvis Jones (Memphis) sparked a 9-0 ETSU run that made it 82-77 with 1:16 left. Lipscomb's Josh Slater then sank a jumper to make it 82-79, and after swapping baskets the score stood 85-82 in favor of the Bucs with 31 seconds remaining. However, from there, Tiggs and Sollazzo combined to go 0-for-4 and the charity stripe and left the door open for the Bisons, but Lipscomb was unable to capitalize on the opportunity and ETSU escaped with the win.

Last time out

NASHVILLE (Feb. 14, 2009) - The ETSU men's basketball team relinquished an 11-point lead in the final eight minutes and senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) missed a potential game winning shot for the second straight game as the Belmont Bruins upended the Buccaneers 76-73 Saturday evening inside the Curb Event Center ... The Bruins (15-9 overall, 11-4 A-Sun) provided the Bucs' with a Valentine's Day heartbreak, avenging an earlier 87-57 loss to ETSU this season and moving back into a tie with the Bucs (17-8, 11-4) for second place in the league race. Both teams now trail first place Jacksonville by one game in the standings ... In a game that was 45-45 with 14:09 left, the Bucs went on an 11-2 run to build a nine-point edge and eventually pushed that advantage to 62-51 with 8:10 remaining in regulation. However, from there Belmont slowly picked away at ETSU's lead and actually gained a 3-point advantage at 69-66 with 3:43 left. The two teams subsequently traded the lead three times, before a 3-pointer by Belmont's Matthew Dotson with 1:28 left made it 74-73 in favor of the Bruins ... The Bucs later made a defensive stop on Belmont and had the ball with 16 seconds on the clock. ETSU ran a play designed for senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), who had a game high 25 points, but he was quickly double teamed by Belmont. Tiggs passed the ball to Pigram who then fired an off target 3-pointer from the left wing. The Bruins rebounded the ball and Mike Hedgepeth's two free throws iced the game ... At this point, the Bucs have lost four conference games, with three of those by a combined seven points. The other loss was a 10-point overtime defeat to Jacksonville in a game the Dolphins tied with a long range 3-pointer as time expired in regulation ... The Bucs got off to a slow start for the fourth time in their last six games, as the Bruins 3-point attack hit early and built a lead of as many as five points. Belmont kept the advantage for the first eight minutes before the Bucs tied the contest 12 and ETSU later led by as many as eight at 26-18 when a rainbow 3-pointer from Pigram found the bottom of the net with 7:32 left in the half ... Belmont answered though and outscored the Bucs 17-7 the rest of the way to make it 35-33 at the break. Belmont shot 47 percent from the floor in the first half, while the Bucs hit on 41.7 percent from the floor. ETSU did match the Bruins five 3-pointers, but guard Alex Renfroe split through the Bucs' defense on his way to a first half best 14 points to make the difference for Belmont ... While Tiggs led the way with 25 points, junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) went 8-of-8 from the foul line and finished with 20 points. Pigram posted 14. For Belmont, Renfroe had a team high 16, guard Henry Harris finished with 15, and forward Shane Dansby pitched in 11.

Tiggs closing in on 1,000; Bucs to have three

1,000-point scoreres on the same team?

While it is not rare to have multiple players on the same team that "eventually" become 1,000-point scorers, having multiple players on the same team that have already eclipsed 1,000-points is rare ... This season, the Bucs have a possibility of having three players that have all reached 1,000 points in their careers ... Those players include Courtney Pigram (Memphis), Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) ... Currently, Pigram has already reached that mark and stands at 1,905 points for his career, while Tiggs has 992 points and Smith has posted 963 for his career ... With a guaranteed six games left, Tiggs and Smith will likely reach that milestone. ... The only two times in ETSU history that the Bucs have had three or more 1,000 point scorers on the floor at the same time was in 1990-91 and 2003-04 ... In 1990-91, four 1,000-point scorers were on the floor together at the same time, Keith "Mister" Jennings, Calvin Talford, Major Geer and Alvin West were on the floor together ... The other season this occurred was in 2003-04, when Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood and Tim Smith all reached 1,000 points.

ETSU the "only" A-Sun team picked among nation's best "Prestige" programs

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 ... 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.

"Big Three" making their mark in A-Sun this year

Watching the ETSU men's basketball team this season has shown that there is power in the number three ... With seniors Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and Courtney Pigram (Memphis), along with junior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), the Bucs put three of the best players in league play on the floor at the same time. Currently, Tiggs and Pigram and No. 1 and No. 3 in the league in scoring, while Smith ranks No. 9 on that list ... Meanwhile, at least one of the three rank in the Top 10 of at least seven other major statistical categories, such as field goal percentage, rebounding, 3-point field goal percentage, steals, assists, assist/turnover ratio, defensive rebounds and minutes played.

Pigram moves to No. 4 on the all-time scoring list

With his 27-point effort against Florida Gulf Coast (Feb. 7), ETSU senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) moved to No. 4 on the all-time scoring list ... Pigram now stands at 1,905 points passed former ETSU great Calvin Talford (1988-1992), who collected 1,872 points in his career ... Here are the Top 5 scorers in ETSU history:

1. Tim Smith (2002-2006) 2,300 points

2. Greg Dennis (1987-1992) 2,204 points

3. Keith "Mister" Jennings (1987-1991) 1,988 points

4. Courtney Pigram (2005-2009) 1,905 points *

5. Calvin Talford (1988-92) 1,872 points

* at present time

Pigram, Tiggs impressive on offensive end in 2008-09

Seniors Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) have enjoyed impressive offensive performances this season, and the two rank among the nation's best when it comes to offensive production ... As of Feb. 13, Tiggs leads the Atlantic Sun Conference and ranks 18th nationally with a 20.8 points per game average (as of Feb. 12), while Pigram ranks third in the A-Sun with 18.6 points a game (as of Feb. 2) ... Pigram is one of just four active players nationally with more than 1,500 points, 350 assists and 200 steals in their careers ... That list includes:

Player, School......................................................Asts Stls Pts

Courtney Pigram, ETSU 382 219 1905

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 215-152 for his career, a 59 percent winning percentage ... Bartow, the son of legendary coach Gene Bartow, is also 113-69 (.621) 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.

Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 128-39 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 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 ... This season the Bucs are 9-1 at home.