Pigram, Strong, Swader lead Bucs past Wesleyan, 98-60
Travis Strong finished with a game-high 21 points, matching his career high with five 3-pointers.
Travis Strong finished with a game-high 21 points, matching his career high with five 3-pointers.

Saturday, December 01, 2007



            JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 1, 2007) - Thanks to a 3-point shooting barrage in the first half and a double-double from junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), the ETSU men's basketball team evened its season record to 3-3 with a 98-60 victory over Tennessee-Wesleyan Saturday afternoon inside the Memorial Center.


            While Pigram finished with 14 points and 11 assists on the night, the Buccaneers also got a game-high 21 points from senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis), who matched his career high with five 3-pointers on the night. Two other Bucs reached double figures, as senior guard Kenyona Swader (Smyrna, Tenn.) and freshman wing Micah Williams (Manchester) pitched in 17 and 12, respectively.


            In all, the Bucs would shoot 58 percent from the field and a blistering 61 percent from 3-point range, forcing the Bulldogs into 31 turnovers and owning the battle of the boards 41-25. ETSU managed that performance despite juggling its starting lineup for the first time this season and playing Pigram at the point guard spot.


            "A win is a win is a win," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team played to a crowd of 3,298. "Travis and Kenyona really shot the ball well, and I thought CP really played great at the (point). We wanted to take a look at him there and I thought he did what we were asking him to do. It was sloppy at times, but I think that was basically because of running all 12 of our guys out there and not staying with a consistent seven or eight-man rotation."


            The Bulldogs took the early 2-0 lead on a pair of free throws by Willie Maclin and kept the game tight at 9-7 entering the first media timeout. However, from there it was all ETSU over the next six minutes as the Bucs went on a 19-4 run to take a 28-11 lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half. The ETSU run was powered by four 3-pointers apiece from Strong and Swader, as the Bucs hit on 8-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc in the first half and were shooting 77 percent from the floor after the first 20 minutes. At the half, the Bucs led by 26 at 53-27.


            In the second half, the Bulldogs kept the margin in the mid 20s only to have the Bucs pull away in the final minutes for the 38-point advantage.


            ETSU held Wesleyan to just 40 percent shooting on the night and grabbed 17 steals from the Bulldogs' offense. The Bucs also had 12 offensive rebounds compared to eight for the Bulldogs.


            Maclin led Wesleyan with 14 points, and was the only Bulldog to reach double figures. Off the bench, the Bucs got a game-high eight rebounds from sophomore post Blake Mishler (Metamora, Ill.), while junior transfer Greg Hamlin (Flint, Mich.) picked up a game-high two blocks.


            Swader's 5-of-6 effort from 3-point range was good for an 83 percent clip which ranks second on the Bucs' all-time single-game list for 3-point percentage. Meanwhile, Williams' 12 points was a career high.


            ETSU will return to action Tuesday night, hosting Marshall at 7 p.m. ETSU fans are reminded to wear their ETSU blue to the game, which will be a special "Blue Out" promotion with all fans wearing blue. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.


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