JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2012) – The basketball season is finally upon us, as the ETSU women’s basketball team will play two exhibition games in three days. The Lady Bucs first takes on Carson-Newman on Saturday with tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. at the MSHA Athletic Center. On Monday ETSU faces off with Young Harris at 7 p.m.
SCOUTING THE LADY BUCS
The Lady Bucs were picked tied for fourth with Jacksonville by the coaches and fifth by the media in the Atlantic Sun preseason polls. Head coach Karen Kemp returns eight letterwinners, including starters Tosha Austin (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Brianna Bogard (Georgetown, Texas) and Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.). Mitchell earned preseason all-Atlantic Sun honors last month and is the Lady Bucs’s top returning scorer and rebounder. The Bluffton, Ga., native averaged 12.2 points and 8.9 boards per game to earn her second-straight Second-Team All-Atlantic Sun honor last March. Mitchell is on pace to become the 21st Lady Buc to join the 1,000 point club as she scored 367 points last year and 347 as a freshman. ETSU will have four newcomers who will wear the Blue and Gold for the first time, including redshirt-sophomore transfer Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) and freshmen Jasmine Kemp (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Imani Martinez (Annandale, N.J.) and Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.). Redshirt-sophomore transfer Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) will be eligible once the fall semester grades are reported because NCAA transfer rules.
The Lady Eagles come to Johnson City with two exhibition games under their belt as Carson-Newman fell to no. 16 Tennessee, 104-44, on Thursday and to North Carolina, 106-29, on Oct. 28. Against the Tar Heels junior Shyra Brown led Carson-Newman with nine points and added a team-high six rebounds. On Thursday, Chante Markus led the team with 12 points on three three-pointers and three free throws against the Lady Vols. Lashawnda Peacher added 10 points while going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Last year Carson-Newman went 17-11 and 10-8 in the South Atlantic Conference. This year the Lady Eagles will rely on the scoring efforts from senior Whitney Moody, who averaged 7.8 points per game in last season. Carson-Newman lost its top two scorers, Zoriah Williams and Shannon Depew. Williams averaged a team-best 15.5 points per game and 9.3 rebounds a game while Depew recorded 11.3 points per game.
SCOUTING YOUNG HARRIS
The Mountain Lions are coming off a 23-3 campaign and ended the season on a 10-game winning streak. Young Harris is in transition from National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) member to a NCAA Division II member. The Mountain Lions will compete in their first year in the Peach Belt Conference and were picked to finish eighth in the 14-team league by the coaches in the preseason poll.
The Mountain Lions are set to have a similar season as last year as they return their top three scorers. Junior Ladondra Johnson led the team with 17.2 points and grabbed 8.2 rebounds per game. Johnson was followed by Lauren Smith, who recorded 9.8 points per game and Keta Robinette with 8.5 points per contest.
Next Up for ETSU
The Lady Bucs will open the season on the road with a trip to High Point on Nov. 10. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in Millis Athletic and Convocation Center.
Fans unable to make the trip to Johnson City can watch live webstream will also be available through A-Sun.TV, while live stats will be offered via Stat Broadcast.
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For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.