NASHVILLE (Feb. 15, 2012) – With four regular season games remaining, the ETSU women's basketball team is looking for a spark to help end its three-game losing skid.
The Lady Bucs hope to find that spark and come together as a team when the Blue and Gold embark on a critical two-game conference road swing, beginning Thursday night at Lipscomb. Tip is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) inside Allen Arena.
ETSU (6-19, 5-7 A-Sun) finds itself in unchartered waters as the Lady Bucs have never lost three consecutive conference games since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06. In addition, the Blue and Gold have been the top seed in the conference tournament for the last three seasons; however, ETSU is just hoping to be one of the eight teams to make it to Macon, Ga. come Feb. 29.
Should the season end today, the Lady Bucs would be the No. 8 seed, but things can quickly change in either direction depending on the outcome of these last four games.
The good thing is, the Lady Bucs are traveling to a place where they have had a lot success over the years – Nashville.
The Lady Bucs have enjoyed making the trip to Nashville as ETSU has won 13 consecutive conference games in the Music City, including two A-Sun Championships (2008 and 2009). The last time ETSU lost a conference game in Nashville was on Feb. 3, 2007 when the Lady Bucs fell to Lipscomb, 57-52, marking a span of 1,839 days (5 years, 13 days) since their last conference loss in the Music City. The Lady Bucs have defeated Lipscomb five times inside Allen Arena during this stretch and Belmont four times inside the Curb Event Center, while knocking off Mercer and Jacksonville twice in the A-Sun Tournament at Lipscomb.
One of the Lady Bucs looking to continue her impressive stretch is sophomore Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.). Mitchell has been one of the hottest players in the A-Sun over the last eight games as she has recorded five double-doubles during this stretch, and is averaging 17.6 points and 10.8 rebounds, while shooting 71.1 percent (59-for-83) from the field. Along with Mitchell, senior Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) has stepped up her game over the last three contests. The Kingsport, Tenn. native is averaging 17.3 points and 5.3 threes over this stretch.
Meanwhile, Lipscomb has also lost its last three games and enters Thursday’s contest with a record of 5-20, 3-11 A-Sun.
The Lady Bison have won two of their last three games at home and are led by the strong duo of Anna Bowers and Hannah Phillips. Bowers leads the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game and has connected on 55 of Lipscomb’s 156 made three-pointers on the year. Phillips is posting 11.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 30.6 minutes of play during her junior year.
As a team, Lipscomb ranks seventh in the A-Sun in scoring offense (59.3) and ninth in defense (74.1), but the Lady Bison are the second best 3-point shooting team in the league. Lipscomb – who is shooting 34.4 percent from beyond the arc – has made the third most triples among conference foes, 156.
The Lady Bucs have won 15 of the 16 games in the series with their lone loss being the five-point setback on Feb. 3, 2007. Since that loss, ETSU has won 12 straight, while the Lady Bucs are winning on average of 19.7 points per game during this impressive run, including the most recent 89-52 win over Lipscomb back on Jan. 21 in Johnson City. The Lady Bucs were led by Mitchell’s 21-point, 13-rebound performance, while Pickwell came off the bench to add 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 25 minutes of play. Freshman guard Brianna Bogard (Georgetown, Texas) also scored in double figures after tallying 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Fans unable to make the trip to Nashville 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 offered via ASun.TV, while live stats are available through LipscombSports.com.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.