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Bucs set to open conference play Thursday vs. Lipscomb
Lipscomb (3-9, 0-1 A-Sun)
ETSU (5-7, 1-0 A-Sun)
1/2/2014 | ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center | Attendance: 482
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
ETSU has won its last 13 meetings against Lipscomb
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 1, 2014) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will look to ring in the New Year on a positive note when it welcomes the Lipscomb Lady Bisons to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both teams.
The Buccaneers (4-7) head into league action aiming to continue the momentum established in an 87-76 victory over George Mason on Dec. 28. In ETSU’s final non-conference test of the season, the Bucs relied on steady offensive production including 10 players in the scoring column and three double-figure scorers. Additionally, the Blue and Gold’s strong defense forced the Patriots into 34 percent shooting for the game and turned GMU over 12 times resulting in 16 points off turnovers. ETSU’s aggressive offensive attack got it to the free-throw line 32 times, including 26 makes, and overpowered George Mason in the paint with 30 points. Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) led the Bucs with a career-high tying 21 points to go along with an also team-high nine rebounds.
In facing the Lipscomb Lady Bisons, the Blue and Gold has an excellent opportunity to begin to conference play with a victory. LU currently sits at 3-8 overall on the season with its latest victory coming on Dec. 21 when the Bisons downed Gardner-Webb, 86-68, in Dayton, Ohio as part of the Wright State Invitational Presented by Holiday Inn. All-time, the Bucs hold a 16-1 series advantage over the Lady Bisons including 13-consecutive victories. In the most recent meeting between the two teams on Feb. 2, 2013, ETSU held court inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center to the tune of an 86-64 victory.
WE ARE “ETSU”
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” throughout the 2012-13 season ... East Tennessee State in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics, please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.
ETSU ENTERS INTO EZELL ERA
The ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2013-14 season under the guidance of first-year head coach. Brittney Ezell. A two-sport star in basketball and softball at the University of Alabama, Ezell comes to ETSU after spending three seasons as head coach at Belmont University where she compiled a 41-52 overall record. The Franklin, Tenn. native takes the reigns of a veteran-heavy team that returns nine letterwinners from an 8-18 overall 2012-13 campaign. Among the nine returnees are six players who started 10 or more games last season. Highlighted among the returnees is last year’s team-leading scorer and rebounder Destiny Mitchell who led the way with 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Supporting Mitchell are juniors Serena Clark and Cara Bowling who each averaged 9.5 points per game last season.
MITCHELL TO MISS REMAINDER OF SEASON
As a result of a leg injury suffered in the first regular season game of the season at Memphis on Nov. 8, senior Destiny Mitchell will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign. Mitchell will undergo surgery and continue injury rehabilitation while the ETSU compliance department petitions for a medical redshirt to have the forward cleared to participate in 2014-15.
LAST TIME VS. LIPSCOMB
In the most recent meeting between the two teams on Feb. 2, 2013, ETSU held court inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center to the tune of an 86-64 victory. The Bucs started strong, scoring the first 13 points of the contest and never looked back. The Blue and Gold held the Lady Bisons scoreless for nearly five minutes and contained them under double-digits until seven minutes remained in the period. ETSU got up by as many as 25 in the first half before LU fought back to shorten the lead to 17, 45-28, before halftime. In the second half, the Lady Bisons whittled the Bucs advantage down to as few as 12 points but a 17-9 ETSU burst over the final five minutes sealed the game in the Blue and Gold’s favor. The Bucs were led by a team-high 16 points and a game-high seven steals from Destiny Mitchell in only 18 minutes of play due to injury.
CLARK DOUBLES UP
Junior forward Serena Clark has started 2013-14 off strong, scoring in double-figures in nine of the 11 games this season. After falling just one rebound short of a double-double in the season opener at Memphis (11/8), the native Georgian reeled off four-consecutive double-doubles for ETSU in games from Nov. 12th thru the 29th including a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 82-65 win against Alabama A&M (11/29). The junior’s most recent double-double came at Vanderbilt (12/3) where she posted 13 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds. Clark has now exceeded her double-double total from last season just eleven games into the 2013-14 campaign with five this season and is poised for more throughout the year. The forward’s 12.7 points per game currently ranks among the top-15 in the A-Sun, while her 10.9 boards per game ranks third in the league.
Junior guard Cara Bowling is currently the second-leading scorer on the team with 12.6 points per game to begin the 2013-14 season. Presently, this point total per game is 13th in the A-Sun while her 1.9 three-point field goal makes per game stands tied for sixth in the league. The Elizabethton native posted a career-high 22 points vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/24) including four makes from behind the arc.
FROM WALK-ON TO STARTER
Sophomore guard Chandler Christopher has proved to be a valuable piece for the Bucs to begin the 2013-14 season. After spending the entirety of the 2012-13 campaign as a seldom-used freshman walk-on, first-year head coach Brittney Ezell liked what she saw from Christopher and decided to elevate the Greeneville native from walk-on to scholarship status prior to this season. Christopher has since recorded her first-career starts in each of the first 11 games of this season and has been a vital cog for the Blue and Gold. After netting two points, five rebounds and three assists in the opener at Memphis (11/8), the guard followed with career-highs of 17 points and four assists in an also career-best 37 minutes played in ETSU’s 81-72 win at Appalachian State (11/12). Christopher’s performance in the Bucs’ first win of the season at App State led to her being named A-Sun Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Monday, Nov. 18. The sophomore then added another team-leading scoring performance to her résumé with 15 points in a 77-69 loss to Morehead State on Nov. 21. In an 87-76 win versus George Mason on Dec. 28, Christopher tallied a career-high tying 17 points including a career-best five makes from three-point land.
MCQUEEN DISHING IT OUT
Sophomore Brianna McQueen has been a strong lead guard for the Bucs to begin the 2013-14 season. Using her quickness, the Georgia native is averaging a solid 11.4 points per game at the point guard position and is also getting her teammates involved with 4.5 assists per game. This assist mark ranks third in the Atlantic Sun and will need to continue to keep ETSU’s offense near the top of the conference.
BUCS ON THE OFFENSIVE
Through 11 games to start the 2013-14 season, ETSU is currently averaging 71.9 points per game which is second in the A-Sun. With the 71.9 points per game also come successes in field goal percentage, where the Bucs are second in the league at 43 percent, and in three-point field percentage, where ETSU is third in the conference at 34 percent.
BOND BEGINS SEASON STRONG
After averaging 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 26 games and six starts in 2012-13, junior forward Maria Bond has proved to be a force in the interior to begin the 2013-14 campaign. The native Georgian has started 10 games this season and is currently averaging 10.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Bond posted a season-high 18 points in a 75-67 win versus Indiana State (12/18) and remains a vital piece in ETSU’s paint production going forward.
To begin the 2013-14 season, the Bucs are averaging approximately 30 points in the paint through 11 games including 36 in the season opener at Memphis (11/8). ETSU also registered 36 points in the paint in the home opener vs. Morehead State (11/21) as well as in home dates vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/24), Indiana State (12/18) and Chattanooga (12/21). The Blue and Gold got a season-high 42 points in the paint in an 82-65 win versus Alabama A&M (11/29).
BUCS PICKED MIDDLE OF THE PACK
The Atlantic Sun coaches picked the Bucs to finish tied with North Florida at fifth, while in the media poll ETSU was selected seventh ... the coaches picked FGCU with seven first-place votes to win the conference, while the media selected FGCU with 30 first-place votes ... the Bucs finished the 2012-13 season in eighth.
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