Lady Bucs aim to string together a pair of wins for the second time this season
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 2, 2013) – After gaining its first home victory since downing Memphis on Nov. 30, ETSU looks to build upon the momentum gathered from defeating Jacksonville when it welcomes the Lipscomb Lady Bisons to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 1:30 p.m.
ETSU (5-11, 3-6) finally got its offense on the right track and played solid defense as it led the entire game in the 74-57 decision over Jacksonville. The Lady Bucs enjoyed their best performance of the season in attacking the basket with 50 points in the paint and also got a very strong showing from their bench, adding 34 points. The catalyst behind the bench’s effort was sophomore center Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) who tallied season-highs of 22 points and four blocks, as well as 11 rebounds, in 20 minutes of play. This added offensive firepower off the pine will greatly aid the Lady Bucs as a complement to the routinely strong play from junior guard Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.).
The matchup between the Lady Bucs and the Lady Bisons will be the 17th all-time meeting between the two schools, a series in which ETSU dominates with a 15-1 overall series advantage and have prevailed in 12 straight contests. ETSU and LU met earlier this season in Nashville where the Blue and Gold came away victorious, 80-74. The Lady Bisons have never won in Johnson City.
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 (5-11, 3-6) looked to gain their first home victory in almost two months when they welcomed the Jacksonville Dolphins (7-13, 3-6) to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center. The Lady Bucs started out hot from the jump with a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of the period and a 13-4 streak before the first media timeout. ETSU controlled the stanza with 30 points in the paint, 15 bench points and 11 second chance points, carrying a 43-25 advantage into the break. The Blue and Gold were able to increase and sustain the lead throughout the second half, largely behind the efforts of sophomore center Tiana Burley who scored 14 of her career-high 22 points and six of her 11 rebounds in the second half. ETSU fought off any showings by the Dolphins for the remainder of the period and secured a 74-57 victory.
LADY BUCS VS. LIPSCOMB
Saturday’s contest in the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center will be the 17th all-time meeting between the two teams. The Lady Bucs and the Lady Bisons last met earlier this season on Jan. 5 when ETSU topped LU, 80-74. ETSU continued its dominance over Lipscomb by defeating them for the 12th straight time, this time in Allen Arena. The Lady Bucs came out with a lot of intensity in the first half and gained a lead shortly into the half. ETSU then hit a lull as Lipscomb took back the lead. The Lady Bucs did not hang their head though and came out aggressive in the second half. The second stanza featured more back and forth action with six ties and three lead changes. With only 1:46 remaining, Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) converted on an and-one and took back the lead, 76-74, one that the Lady Bucs would not relinquish the rest of the way. After topping the Lady Bisons for the 12th straight time, the Lady Bucs improved their overall series record against Lipscomb to 15-1.
The emergence of redshirt-sophomore Tiana Burley has provided a badly-needed inside presence 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 came up huge off the bench in the win against Jacksonville when she posted season-highs of 22 points and four blocks as well as 11 rebounds in only 20 minutes of play. Burley is currently averaging 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, primarily off the bench, for ETSU.
The Lady Bucs have recently discovered the most offensive production through points in the paint. ETSU is currently averaging 30 points in the paint per game, including an average of 37 points in the past five. In the win against Jacksonville, the Blue and Gold recorded 50 points in the paint, the most since scoring 50 as well on Jan. 31, 2011 in a 100-62 victory against Mercer in Johnson City.
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), at Northern Kentucky (9 points) and at Kennesaw State (18 points). Randall is currently averaging 8.2 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 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 is seventh in the A-Sun in free throw shooting at 75 percent.
The Blue and Gold have outrebounded the opposition in 11 of the 16 games this season and enter Saturday’s game with a plus-4.6 rebounding margin (42.2-37.6), ranking first in the A-Sun … in its game at Morehead State, ETSU outrebounded the Eagles by 20, 46-26 … the Lady Bucs’ plus-4.6 rebound margin currently ranks in the top 70 nationally.
Currently the Lady Bucs are averaging 4.8 blocks per contest, good for tops in the Atlantic Sun. ETSU swatted season-highs of eight shots in wins against Memphis on Nov. 30, versus Jacksonville on Jan. 28 and in a loss to Stetson on Jan. 14 each inside the MSHA Athletics Center. The Blue and Gold are led by Tosha Austin’s (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 118 rejections.
MITCHELL’S HOT START
Destiny Mitchell has scored in double figures in nine out of the fifteen games she has played in this season and is averaging 12.4 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 (12.4), second in rebounding (9.0), fourth in steals (2.3) and tied for third in field goal percentage (50.3).
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 16 games of the 2012-13 season she has scored 186 to move her career total to 900 .. 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 nine games of league play, Clark is averaging 9.1 points and 7.8 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 79-35 (.692) 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 102-39 (.723) against conference foes since moving into the A-Sun … the Lady Bucs have also won 82 of their last 111 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 25 bench points per game, including a season-high 57 points off the bench against Morehead State. Key reserves Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) (6.9 ppg) and Tiana Burley (6.8 ppg) have been vital for the Lady Bucs.
Destiny Mitchell recorded 11 double-doubles in her rookie season and she finished the 2011-12 season with four consecutive double-doubles before going down with her knee injury against UNF on Feb. 12 … in those 11 games, Mitchell averaged 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.7 steals in 33.5 minutes of work, while also shooting 53 percent from the field (81-152)... Mitchell had 10 more double-doubles in 2011-12... after earning her first double-double of this season on Nov. 30 against Memphis (14 pts., 16 rebs.) and after posting three consecutive double-doubles at Kennesaw State (18 pts., 10 rebs.), at Mercer (17 pts., 13 rebs.) and vs. North Florida (12 pts. 14 rebs.), Mitchell now has 25 so far in her career.
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