JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2012) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will look to cap off its season-long five-game homestand on a positive note when the Lady Bucs host Kennesaw State on Monday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. inside the MSHA Athletic Center.
The Lady Bucs, who have won three of the first four games on this home stint, moved their record to 3-11, 2-2 in Atlantic Sun Conference play following a 72-46 victory over Mercer on Saturday afternoon. Defense and a total team effort led to the 26-point win, as the 46 points allowed marked the lowest point total given up by the Blue and Gold this season.
Red-shirt senior guard Tarita Gordon (Wichita, Kan.) led all scorers with 14 points off the bench, while fellow senior guard Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) recorded her first career double-double against the Bears on Saturday (11 points/10 rebounds). Overall, ten Lady Buccaneer players reached the scoring column, while sophomore standout Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) held Mercer’s leading scorer and reigning A-Sun Freshman of the Year in check. Mitchell’s stifling defense held sophomore guard Briana Williams to only seven points (2-of-13 shooting) and five turnovers in 23 minutes of play.
As a team, the Lady Bucs have improved their play during this homestand as ETSU is averaging 71.8 points per game and shooting 40 percent (16-40) from beyond the arc. Of the 16 made threes, Pickwell has tallied eight of them and is shooting 53.3 percent from three along with averaging 13.0 points per game in the last four contests. The Blue and Gold defense has held the opposition to only 63.8 points per game as well as a 33.7 shooting percentage (86-255) during this stretch.
Should the Lady Bucs want to end the homestand with a 4-1 mark, they will have to take on a Kennesaw State team who has won three straight road games, including a most recent 74-63 win at USC Upstate on Saturday. Kennesaw State enters Monday’s game with a record of 7-9, 2-3 A-Sun.
The Owls are led by red-shirt freshman guard Taylor Mills’ 13.3 points per game and 2.8 threes per contest. Along with Mills, 6-foot junior forward Sametria Gideon and 5-foot-7 junior guard Ashley Holiday are both registering 11.5 points for Kennesaw State. Gideon is also averaging 7.9 rebounds per outing, while Holiday has netted 37 treys on the season.
ETSU has had the Owls’ number since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06, as the Lady Bucs have won all 11 meetings in the series; however, five of those games have been decided by 10 points or less. Last season, Mitchell recorded a pair of double-doubles against Kennesaw State as she averaged 17.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.5 steals, while Pickwell averaged 3.5 threes in two games against the Owls in 2010-11.
Fans unable to make the trip to Johnson City can listen to all the action on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster as “Voice of the Lady Bucs” John Stevens will carry the play-by-play. Live video will also be available on A-Sun.TV and live stats are offered via Gametracker.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.