Lady Bucs’ 30 bench points not enough
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 14, 2013) – After battling back to within six points with 12 minutes remaining in the contest and after missing a chance to change the momentum of the game with nine minutes left, ETSU’s cold shooting and propensity to turn the ball over proved too costly against the first place Stetson Hatters as the Lady Bucs dropped a 71-55 decision on Monday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.
With the loss, ETSU falls to 3-9 overall and 1-4 in Atlantic Sun play, while Stetson improves to 13-4 overall and 6-0 in league action.
“We felt good at around eight minutes when we cut it to seven or eight, but we weren’t able to capitalize and shift the momentum,” head coach Karen Kemp said. “We ended up being down by 15 or 16, but it didn’t feel like that big of margin. Our players played their hearts out and I told them in the locker room that if we continue to work hard, things will turn around for this basketball team. If we get a stop here, knock down free throws there and make our layups, those things can be the difference in the game.”
With each team battling the elements of a leak in the roof of the MSHA Athletics Center, Stetson picked up where FGCU left off last game, raining five made three-pointers early in the first half. The Lady Bucs once again suffered from cold shooting, knocking down only 10 made field goals and only one three-pointer in the half. ETSU’s 13 turnovers in the period were not helping either with the Hatters scoring nine points off these miscues. ETSU’s defense did produce an already season-high tying six blocks in the half and got 11 points from its bench. The struggle shooting from the field, coupled with turning the ball over, resulted in a 35-23 Stetson advantage at the break.
The second half saw the Hatters increase their lead to 14, 41-27 at the 17 minute mark. The Lady Bucs did not quit though and cut the deficit to six with 12 minutes remaining due in large part from attacking the basket and getting points in the paint. A potential momentum shift occurred with 8:54 left when Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) was fouled on an in-and-out three-point attempt with ETSU down only eight points. Bowling, though, was not able to take advantage of the almost four-point play and came away with only one made free throw. This missed opportunity was followed by a 7-0 Stetson run in roughly a minute of play at the seven minute mark which proved too much for the Blue and Gold to overcome in the end, resulting in a 71-55 final decision in favor of the Hatters.
Stetson featured two 20-point scorers, highlighted by a game high 22 from Shanasa Sanders and 21 by Jama Sharp. Victoria McGowan also turned in a solid performance with a near triple-double of 10 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Meanwhile, Cara Bowling highlighted the strong performance from ETSU's bench with a team-high 15 points, while Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) added eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) also pitched eight points and six rebounds.
Shooting 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from downtown, the Hatters also shot 62 percent from the free throw line and held advantages in points in the paint (34-30), points off turnovers (19-7) and fast break points (10-2).
Meanwhile, ETSU struggled from the field, shooting under 40 percent again and drained only 36 percent of its attempts behind the arc, as well as 69 percent from the charity stripe. The Lady Bucs again outrebounded its opponent, grabbing three more boards than SU and got an overwhelming 30 points from its bench compared to only three for the Hatters. The Blue and Gold also held an advantage in second chance points (12-10).
The Lady Bucs will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 19, when they continue A-Sun play on the road with a trip to Kennesaw, Ga. to take on the Kennesaw State Owls at 5:30 p.m. inside the Kennesaw State Convocation Center.
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