SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Dec. 5, 2011) – Fresh off their conference-opening road swing in Florida, the Lady Bucs return to non-conference play for the remainder of the month, beginning Tuesday night when the ETSU women’s basketball team travels northwest to face Missouri Valley Conference foe Missouri State. Tip is set for 8:05 p.m. (ET) inside JQH Arena.
The Lady Bucs (0-8, 0-2 in A-Sun play) came away winless in the Sunshine state as ETSU dropped conference games to Stetson (L, 60-68) and Florida Gulf Coast (L, 60-88).
Despite the pair of losses, the Blue and Gold have some positives to carry back into non-conference play over the next couple of weeks. Senior Tarita Gordon (Wichita, Kan.) scored in double figures in both games in Florida, averaging 16 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.0 steals against Stetson and FGCU. Meanwhile, freshman Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) took advantage of her first collegiate start on Saturday night at FGCU, as the Macon, Ga. native scored a career-high 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Joining the Buccaneer tandem in double figures is sophomore guard/forward Destiny Mitchell’s (Bluffton, Ga.) back-to-back-to-back solid efforts. Mitchell is posting 9.7 points and 9.3 rebounds over her last three outings. In addition, both Bond (57.1 percent) and Mitchell (51.9 percent) are shooting over 50 percent from the field during this stretch.
For the second straight game and fifth time this season, the Lady Bucs will face a team that’s ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll as Missouri State is currently ranked No. 12 after standing at 3-2 through its first five games.
The Lady Bears haven’t played since Nov. 29 when Missouri State knocked off Arkansas Little-Rock by 23, 73-50, in Springfield. Three Missouri State players scored in double figures last time out as Casey Garrison – who was just named to the Naismith Preseason Watch List – led the way with 18 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals. For the season, Garrison, a 6-foot senior guard, is averaging 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and shooting 53.3 percent from the field in the first five games. As a team, Missouri State is shooting 44.1 percent from the field and out-rebounding its opponents by five, 40.4 to 35.4.
Missouri State, who won the 2005 WNIT, has made the Postseason WNIT in each of the last two seasons. The Lady Bears were picked as the preseason favorite to win the MVC, while Garrison was tabbed preseason Player of the Year.
Tuesday marks the first meeting between the two programs.
Missouri State will offer live video, live audio, and live stats through MissouriStateBears.com. The audio is free, while there's a minimal fee for the video. Live stats will be offered via Gametracker.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.