ETSU wins sixth straight behind Mitchell's double-double
DeLAND, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2011) - After seeing a 21 point second-half lead dwindle to eight down the stretch, the ETSU women's basketball team held off a valiant Stetson comeback by scoring the final ten points en route to capturing an 80-62 victory Saturday afternoon inside the Edmunds Center.
All five ETSU starters scored in double figures with freshman Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) posting her tenth double-double this season - finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, junior guard Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) added 13 points and four rebounds, and senior captain Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) registered 12 points and six assists. Fellow captain Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) ended with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists; while sophomore post Tosha Austin (Chattanooga, Tenn.) wrapped up the scoring spree with a career high ten points and five rebounds.
With the win, the Lady Bucs have now won six straight and improved to 14-9, 11-3; while Stetson dropped to 11-11, 7-6.
The Lady Bucs opened the game strong as they scored the first nine points and forced Stetson to burn a 30-second timeout after Mitchell put the Blue and Gold up 13-2 with a lay-up at the 16:14 mark. ETSU remained on fire as the Lady Bucs made eight of their first 12 shots and led 19-4 when Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) sank a baseline jumper with 13:49 left in the half.
Then, just when it seemed the Hatters may be gaining some momentum after cutting the deficit to 11, the Lady Bucs mounted a 16-8 run - pushing their lead to 35-16 when Iesha Robinson (Martinsburg, W. Va.) drained a three from the left wing with 5:23 showing on the clock. The 1,174 Hatter fans finally had something to cheer about as Stetson used an 8-0 run to pull back within 11, but the Lady Bucs scored nine of the final 13 points of the half to take a 44-28 lead into the locker room.
ETSU's high octane offense carried over from the Mercer win Monday night as the Lady Bucs shot 58 percent (18-31) in the opening 20 minutes. The Hatters shot 41 percent (13-32) in the first half, but 12 Stetson turnovers turned into 16 points on the offensive end for the Lady Bucs. All eight Lady Buccaneer players scored in the first half, while Pickwell led the way with 10.
The Blue and Gold used the first four-plus minutes of the second half to extend their 16-point halftime lead to 21, 56-35, when Austin hit Mitchell on the run for an easy lay-up with a little over 15 minutes left in the contest.
However, that's when Stetson started mounting its comeback.
Foul trouble and turnovers haunted the Lady Bucs over the next eight-plus minutes - as Stetson was in the bonus with twelve minutes remaining - and the Hatters inched back to nine, 63-54, following Mairead McNally's jumper with less than seven minutes to go.
Pickwell responded with a three on the next trip down the floor for ETSU, but the Hatters made it an eight point game when Sasha Sims converted a four-point play and Simone Taylor laid one in with left less than four minutes left in the contest. Fortunately, the Lady Bucs dug deep and outscored Stetson, 10-0, in the final two minutes, forty-six seconds to earn the 18-point conference win.
For the game, the Lady Bucs shot 46 percent (32-69) and assisted on 19 of the 32 makes. The Hatters shot 39 percent (25-64), but turned the ball over 25 times - resulting in 25 points for ETSU. The Lady Bucs also out-rebounded the Hatters by four, 42 to 38, and ETSU finished 12-of-15 at the free throw line.
Stetson was led by Brown's 14-point effort in the loss.
The Lady Bucs wrap up their brief stay in the Sunshine state when ETSU takes on Florida Gulf Coast Monday night. Tip is set for 7:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live on CSS.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.