Lady Bucs aim to make it eight in a row vs. the Bears
MACON, Ga. (Jan. 21, 2013) – In search of putting together back-to-back wins for the first time since defeating Memphis on Nov. 30 and Morehead State on Dec. 2, the Lady Bucs end their weekend road trip with a visit to Macon, Ga. to take on the Mercer Bears on Monday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. inside Hawkins Arena.
ETSU hopes to continue the momentum they gained after downing the Kennesaw State Owls, 61-59, on Saturday evening. After a great start to the game, the Blue and Gold had to battle back after being down by as many as 13 points with 11 minutes left in the contest. During a scoring run, Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) produced a go-ahead lay-in with two minutes remaining, a lead that the Lady Bucs would not relinquish the rest of the way.
The matchup between the Lady Bucs and the Mercer Bears (10-7, 4-2) will be the 24th all-time meeting between the two schools, a series in which ETSU (4-9, 2-4) leads with a 14-9 all-time series advantage and hold a seven-game winning streak. In the most recent matchup between the two teams, ETSU topped the Bears, 75-59, in Macon. With the triumph, the Lady Bucs swept the season series versus MU after defeating them, 72-46, on Jan. 7 in Johnson City, Tenn. The Blue and Gold hope to make it eight in a row against Mercer on Monday afternoon.
For more on Saturday’s game, read the game notes below. For more on ETSU women’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s hoops link.
WE ARE “ETSU”
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” throughout the 2012-13 season ... East Tennessee State in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics, please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Lady Buccaneers, but Lady Bucs is also acceptable.
LAST TIME OUT
ETSU (4-9, 2-4) finally got back on the right track by defeating the Kennesaw State Owls, 61-59, on Saturday evening. The Lady Bucs started the game out well with an 8-2 run in the first three minutes, but quickly went cold for the rest of the half, resulting in a 36-32 deficit at the break. The Blue and Gold started the second half completely different from what they started the first, scoring only six points through the first 10 minutes of the stanza. This cold shooting, coupled with efficient offense from KSU, resulted in the Owls upping their lead throughout the period, reaching its peak with a 13-point lead at the 11:32 mark. ETSU was able to find its rhythm from the offensive end with seven minutes remaining in the contest, cutting the deficit to nine. From this point on, the Blue and Gold went on a 19-8 run, including a lay-in by Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) to take the lead with 2:19 left in the game. The Lady Bucs did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way and held on for a 61-59 victory. ETSU got a double-double from Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) added 18 points as well. Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) tallied 10 points and nine rebounds.
LADY BUCS VS. MERCER
Monday’s contest inside Hawkins Arena will be the 24th all-time meeting between the two teams; a series in which ETSU leads with a 14-9 all-time series advantage and have won seven straight. The Lady Bucs and Bears last met last season on Jan. 2 when ETSU topped Mercer, 75-59. With the win, the Lady Bucs swept the season series versus MU after defeating them, 72-46, on Jan. 7 in Johnson City, Tenn. In the most recent meeting, Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) poured in a career-high 30 points, while Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) added a 12-point performance. Mercer wasn’t able to pull within single-digits in the final 20 minutes, resulting in a 75-59 Lady Bucs victory.
The emergence of redshirt-sophomore Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) has provided a badly-needed inside presence off the bench for the Lady Bucs. In the transfer’s first action as a Lady Buc due to NCAA regulations, the center came off the bench and posted a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to Appalachian State. This performance awarded Burley A-Sun Newcomer of the Week honors on Dec. 26. Burley also was a big contribution off the bench for the Lady Bucs against USC Upstate, in which she posted eight points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of play.
After being inserted into the starting lineup at the beginning of conference play, Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) has answered the call and has been stellar in league play. In her first start of the season at USC Upstate, Randall tallied 16 points and was 4-of-6 from behind the arc. The junior guard followed this performance with strong showings at Lipscomb (13 points, 4 rebounds), Northern Kentucky (9 points) and at Kennesaw State (18 points). Randall is currently averaging 9.8 points per game in Atlantic Sun action.
MCQUEEN STRONG FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
In addition to running the team as a true freshman point guard, Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) has shown no fear at the free throw stripe with the game on the line. At Lipscomb and at Kennesaw State, McQueen stepped the line and buried clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the game in the Lady Bucs’ favor. McQueen currently ranks fifth in the A-Sun in free throw shooting at 76.5 percent.
The Blue and Gold have out-rebounded the opposition in nine of the 13 games this season and enter Monday’s game with a plus-4.3 rebounding margin (42.1-37.8), ranking first in the A-Sun … in its game at Morehead State, ETSU out-rebounded the Eagles by 20, 46-26 … the Lady Bucs’ plus-4.3 rebound margin currently ranks in the top 100 nationally.
MITCHELL LANDS A-SUN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Junior Destiny Mitchell earned A-Sun Player of the Week honors on Dec. 3 after averaging 14.5 points and 11 rebounds in wins over Memphis and Morehead State, marking the third A-Sun Player of the Week selection of her career ... Mitchell posted a double-double in the win vs. Memphis (14 points/16 rebounds), while adding 15 points and six rebounds a few days later at Morehead State.
Currently the Lady Bucs are averaging 4.4 blocks per contest, good for tops in the Atlantic Sun. ETSU swatted a season-high eight shots in their win against Memphis on Nov. 30 inside the MSHA Athletics Center and tied this season-high rejection mark in a loss to Stetson at the Dome. The Blue and Gold have blocked five or more shots in six games this season and are led by Tosha Austin (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 1.1 blocks per game which ranks in the top five individually in the league. Austin also currently ranks 19th all-time in blocked shots in Atlantic Sun history with 115 rejections.
MITCHELL’S HOT START
Destiny Mitchell has scored in double figures in six out of the 13 games on the season and is averaging 11.7 points per contest … Mitchell scored a season-high 26 points in the opener at High Point back on Nov. 10 and added 14 points and 16 rebounds in the 10-point win vs. Memphis to close out the month of November ... Mitchell is currently sixth in the A-Sun in scoring (12.3), third in rebounding (8.6), tied for third in steals (2.3) and fifth in field goal percentage (49.2).
MITCHELL’S PURSUIT TO THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
Mitchell is well on her way to become the 21st Lady Buc to join the 1,000-point club ... She is on pace to break the 1,000-point mark near the end of February as she registered 347 points as a freshman and 367 points as a sophomore for 714 total points... through ETSU’s first thirteen games of the 2012-13 season she has scored 147 to move her career total to 861 .. if Mitchell scores in similar fashion in the next two years as she did as a rookie and a sophomore, she will put herself in the top-10 in Lady Buc history.
CLARK TURNS IT ON FOR A-SUN PLAY
After a solid start to the season for the now eligible transfer, Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) has really turned it on when it comes to Atlantic Sun action. Through the first six games of league play, Clark is averaging 8.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, including back-to-back double-doubles at Lipscomb and at Northern Kentucky with 10 points & 14 rebounds and 16 points, 10 rebounds & seven steals, respectively.
SECOND HALF SURGES
The Lady Bucs have been a tough team to beat when it comes to the second half of the season (games played from January-March) … since January of 2008, ETSU is 78-33 (.703) in the months of January through March, including a program-best 19-3 mark in 2009-10.
HAVING FUN IN THE A-SUN
The Lady Bucs have enjoyed a lot of success since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06 … since joining the league, the Lady Buccaneers have averaged 15 conference wins a year, including a league-best and school record 18-2 mark in 2009-10, three Atlantic Sun Tournament titles (2008-2010), and two regular season championships (2008 and 2010) …in total, ETSU is 101-37 (.732) against conference foes since moving into the A-Sun … the Lady Bucs have also won 81 of their last 109 games against conference foes (includes the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 A-Sun Tournaments).
BOOST FROM THE BENCH
Through the early portion of the season, ETSU has gotten strong contributions from its bench. On the season ETSU averages roughly 20 bench points per game, including a season-high 57 points off the bench against Morehead State. Key reserves Cara Bowling (7.2 ppg) and Tiana Burley (6.0 ppg) have been very valuable for the Lady Bucs off the bench.
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