Herd falls to ETSU

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Junior forward Kevin Tiggs scored 24 points to lead East Tennessee State to a 79-73 decision over the Marshall University men’s basketball team on Tuesday at the Memorial Center.

Tiggs followed up his career-best 26 points versus Marshall in ETSU’s loss on Nov. 20 in Huntington with his game-high 24 points on Tuesday. He went 9-for-17 from the floor and added six rebounds as the Buccaneers (4-3) avenged their overtime loss to the Thundering Herd (4-2).

Herd freshman Matt Walls

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scored a carer-high 21 points, sinking six 3-pointers. Fellow freshman Tirrell Baines posted 15 points while junior Markel Humphrey

scored 14 points.

The game was tight, 49-47 at the 11:28 mark, until ETSU went on a back-breaking 11-0 run to pull away from the Herd. Marshall closed to within five points at 1:18 on Walls’ final trey, but missed opportunities down the stretch that ultimately cost the Herd.

ETSU claimed a 13-point lead at the 7:24 mark thanks to Courtney Pigram’s three-point play on a lay-in plus a foul and a pair of free throws from Kevin Tiggs.

Pigram scored 14 points for the Bucs while Andrew Reed pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

It was Tiggs and Humphrey who scored a flurry of points beginning at the 13-minute mark to pick up the game’s pace considerably. Tiggs scored eight straight ETSU points while Humphrey netted four consecutive MU points, the first of which came via an emphatic fast-break dunk.

The fast-paced segment of the game surrendered 20 points in just over three minutes.

Marshall committed 12 first-half turnovers to only four by the Buccaneers while ETSU shot 48.1 percent, but the Herd trailed by only four points at intermission, 35-31.

The freshman duo of Baines and Walls netted nine first-half points apiece, team-high, with Baines scoring MU’s first four points of the contest. Baines continued his strong play on the boards, pulling down five rebounds in the first half, three of which were offensive.

Tiggs scored 11 points in the opening half, going 4-for-8 from the floor.

Jones’ substitution of Taurean Marshall (Fort Washington, Md.) and Walls early in the first half paid immediate dividends, as the duo combined for 11 straight Herd points, including three straight 3-pointers. T. Marshall scored a scoop lay-in while getting fouled (missed free throw) and followed it up with a trey from the top of the key. Walls, MU’s leading 3-point shooter, hit the first of back-to-back 3-pointers in a 31-second span to give the Herd a 17-14 edge at the 11:43 mark.

Walls tied the game at 31-31 on a 3-pointer from the corner with the shot clock expiring. Humphrey made the extra pass as to Walls as the Herd executed quick perimeter passing around the ETSU defense.

Following Walls’ 3-pointer, however, ETSU held Marshall scoreless for the half’s final 2:16.