ETSU and ISU to meet for the first time since 2009
AMES, Iowa (Dec. 19, 2012) – The ETSU women’s basketball team hits the road for the fifth time this season as the Lady Bucs continue non-conference play with a trip to Ames, Iowa to take on the Iowa State Cyclones at 8 p.m. ET inside Hilton Coliseum.
ETSU (2-4) will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak, having dropped a road contest at LSU and a home meeting with Appalachian State. The Lady Bucs received a pleasant surprise in the game against Appalachian State from redshirt sophomore Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.). The transfer from Charlotte came off the bench and saw her first action as a Lady Buc. Burley made the most of the opportunity by posting a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds, both career highs, in 27 minutes of play.
Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) still serves as a stat sheet stuffer for ETSU. Against ASU, Mitchell chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, two blocks and three steals. Her 15.8 points per game ranks fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference as well as ranking second in offensive rebounding (4.4), first in steals (3.0) and tied for fifth in blocked shots (1.0).
The Lady Bucs continue to get strong contributions early in the season from freshman Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.). The guard averages 9.3 points per game as well as 2.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Her 78.1 free throw percentage (25-32 FT) is good for third in the league.
Scouting the Cyclones
Iowa State (7-1) checks in at No. 29 on RealTime RPI after putting together two straight wins; the most recent a 67-59 victory at Northern Iowa. The Cyclones are undefeated at Hilton Coliseum this season and have won 11 straight regular season games inside the facility dating back to last season, the only loss coming against Texas A&M on Jan. 14, 2012.
Hallie Christofferson leads the way for the Cyclones, averaging 15.6 points through the first eight games. The Hamlin, Iowa native is 42-of-79 (53.2 percent) from the field, and has 15 makes on 34 attempts (44.1 percent) from long distance this season. The 6-foot-3 junior also corrals 7.9 rebounds per contest, good for second on the team. Senior Chelsea Poppens is also a force for Iowa State. The senior averages nearly a double-double with 13 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
ETSU’s Last Outing
The Lady Bucs welcomed Appalachian State to Johnson City, Tenn. on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The game was held inside Brooks Gym due to the ongoing renovations to the lighting system for basketball inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ETSU did not respond well to the temporary home venue, falling behind by 13 midway through the first half. The Lady Bucs eventually got comfortable and began chipping away at ASU’s lead. The charge was led by newcomer Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) who scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half, which helped ETSU whittle the deficit down to four going into halftime.
The momentum continued into the second half with back and forth action from both teams. The Lady Bucs were finally able to gain the lead, 50-49, at the 12:59 mark, but the lead quickly evaporated as ASU went on a 36-7 run over the final 13 minutes. The Mountaineers’ largest lead of 30 came with 1:02 left, resulting in an 85-57 defeat.
Maryah Sydnor totaled a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15-shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. The Mountaineers shot 46.3 percent on the night and also included an impressive 18-of-19 from the free throw line. ETSU was held to just 34.9 percent shooting (22-63) and without a make in 14 tries from three-point land. The Lady Bucs were also forced into 25 turnovers
One bright spot of the night was the play of Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) who saw her first action as a Lady Buc. The center, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, recorded careers highs in points (19) and rebounds (13) in her double-double. A valuable inside presence to team with guards Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) and Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) is a huge development for the Lady Bucs.
The two schools have met only one time prior, an NCAA Tournament first round matchup in Bowling Green, Ky., which saw the Cyclones pull away in an 85-53 decision on March 22, 2009.
Live video, audio and stats of Thursday night’s contest can be found on Cyclones.com, the Official Athletics Website of Iowa State University.
- ETSU and Iowa State are meeting for the first time since March 22, 2009, when the Cyclones beat the Lady Bucs, 85-53, in a 2009 NCAA Tournament first round matchup in Bowling Green, Ky.
- Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) is fourth the A-Sun in scoring at 15.8 points per game, tied for third in field goal percentage (58.6 percent), second in free throw percentage (83.3 percent) and first in steals (3.5 per game). Mitchell also ranks No. 2 in offensive rebounds at 4.4 per game.
- Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) ranks No. 6 in the A-Sun in offensive rebounds (3.2 per game).
- Tosha Austin (Chattanooga, Tenn.) ranks No. 2 in the A-Sun in blocked shots (1.7 per game).
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For more information on ETSU women’s basketball, please visit ETSUBucs.com.