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ETSU drops Mars Hill, 99-71, in exhibition men's basketball
Thomas
Thomas

Thursday, November 10, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 10, 2005) - With senior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) sitting out a one-game suspension for violation of team rules, five ETSU players picked up the slack by scoring in double figures and leading the Buccaneers to a 99-71 win over Mars Hill Thursday night in exhibition basketball action at Memorial Center.

 

Freshman guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis, Tenn.) led the Bucs with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while junior forward Eryk Thomas (Fremont, Calif.) and senior forward Dillion Sneed pitched in 20 and 15 points, respectively.

 

"I think we've got some good offensive firepower and that showed out there tonight," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "We still have some work to do defensively, but overall I saw a lot of encouraging things."

 

With freshman guard Tayloe Taylor (Memphis, Tenn.) taking Smith's spot in the starting lineup, the Bucs and Lions basically traded baskets until the seven-minute mark of the first half. At that point, a 10-0 offensive run gave the Bucs a 36-26 advantage with 4:32 left in the half. ETSU went on to build that lead to 46-34 at the intermission.

 

In the second half, ETSU stayed hot on the offensive end of the floor, outscoring Mars Hill 53-37 for the final 99-71 advantage.

 

Along with Pigram, Thomas and Sneed, senior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) added 13 points and junior guard Travis Strong (Memphis, Tenn.) pitched in 12. The Bucs shot 56 percent from the floor (32-of-57) - including 41 percent (7-of-17) from 3-point range - and forced Mars Hill into 29 turnovers for the game.

 

The Lions were led offensively by Walt Baxley with 14 points, while Mark Hamilton collected a double-double with 15 rebounds and 10 points.

 

ETSU will return to action in their regular season opener Friday evening, Nov. 18 at Tennessee. Fans interested in purchasing their tickets for the Tennessee game need to call the UT ticket office or order on-line at UTSports.com. The ETSU ticket office is now sold out of tickets for the game.