Hope to not relive 37-point thrashing by FGCU earlier this season
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2013) – After dropping a 74-65 decision to Stetson on the first leg of the Sunshine State road trip, ETSU will look to snap a two-game losing streak when it travels to Fort Myers, Fla. to take on the Atlantic Sun-leading Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Monday, Feb. 11, at 7:05 p.m. ET inside Alico Arena.
The Lady Bucs aim to put together a full, 40-minute effort which has been hard to come by in the recent losses to Northern Kentucky and Stetson. In these two contests, the Blue and Gold played well in stretches but then hit lulls that ultimately cost them. Putting together a complete 40 minutes will be no easy task against a Florida Gulf Coast (19-5, 12-0) team that sits atop the league standings. ETSU (6-13) (4-8) hopes that this matchup will not resemble the prior one this season where the Eagles bludgeoned the Lady Bucs, 97-60, behind a NCAA Division I women’s basketball record 22 made three-pointers. To compete with FGCU, the Blue and Gold must see continued production from sophomore forward Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.), who has posted double-doubles in three of the last four games, and get the routinely strong numbers from a hopefully healthy junior guard Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.).
The matchup between the Lady Bucs and the Eagles will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two schools, a series in which FGCU dominates with a 9-2 overall series advantage. As noted above, earlier this season the Eagles took it to the Lady Bucs, 97-60, behind a game-high 25 points from guard Betsy Adams who nailed seven of FGCU’s record 22 threes.
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 (6-13, 4-8) faced a hot Stetson Hatters (17-6, 10-2) squad who raced out to an early lead, primarily off of fast break points and points off turnovers. The Lady Bucs finally were able to get something going with points in the paint and nailing a few triples. The Blue and Gold was able to tie the game with 10 minutes remaining, but Stetson stormed back with a 20-0 run over the next seven minutes and a 25-5 streak to end the half, taking a 44-24 advantage into the break. The Lady Bucs used a 9-2 run of their own over the first four minutes of the second period to inch closer. SU responded and kept ETSU at bay with a double-digit deficit for most of the half, with the closest being 10 points at the 7:29 mark. Late baskets for ETSU proved to be too little, too late as they dropped a 74-65 decision to the Hatters. The Blue and Gold received another strong performance from forward Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) who notched her third double-double in the past four games with game-highs of 20 points and 12 rebounds. The Lady Bucs had only one extra double-digit scorer with 10 points from Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.)
LADY BUCS VS. FLORIDA GULF COAST
Monday’s contest in Fort Myers will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two teams. The Lady Bucs and the Eagles met earlier this season on Jan. 12 when FGCU dominated ETSU, 97-60. In this recent matchup, ETSU looked to improve to .500 in Atlantic Sun play, but knew it would be quite the challenge against FGCU. These fears turned into reality as the Lady Bucs ran into a buzz saw against the Eagles. After shots were not falling early for both teams, FGCU quickly found their stroke and the rout was on. FGCU’s hot shooting and efficient passing led to a 51-25 ETSU deficit at the half. The second half was much like the first, with the Eagles raining threes en route to a 97-60 bludgeoning of the Lady Bucs. FGCU set the NCAA Division I women’s basketball record with 22 made three-pointers, eclipsing a mark of 21 made by the Eagles as well in 2008. ETSU did get leading scorer Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) going again with 16 points and eight boards. Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) also added 11 points and four rebounds.
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 forward 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 (1/28) when she posted season-highs of 22 points and four blocks as well as 11 rebounds in only 20 minutes of play. On Feb. 4, the sophomore forward was awarded Atlantic Sun Women’s Basketball Player of the Week by College Sports Madness. After being inserted into the starting lineup against Northern Kentucky due to injuries amongst the team, Burley dominated from the start and scored 16 points before the midway point of the first half. In total, the sophomore forward scored 20 points and ripped down 11 rebounds. The Camilla, Ga. native followed this with another double-double against Stetson with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Burley is currently averaging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds 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 35 points in its 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 8.3 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 ninth in the A-Sun in free throw shooting at 73.3 percent.
The Blue and Gold have outrebounded the opposition in 14 of the 19 games this season and enter Monday’s game with a plus-6.2 rebounding margin (43.1-36.9), ranking first in the A-Sun … in its game at Morehead State, ETSU outrebounded the Eagles by 20, 46-26 … the Lady Bucs’ plus-6.2 rebound margin currently ranks in the top 50 nationally.
Currently the Lady Bucs are averaging 5.1 blocks per contest, good for tops in the Atlantic Sun. ETSU swatted a season-high nine shots in a loss at Stetson on Feb. 9. The Blue and Gold are led by Tosha Austin’s 1.1 blocks per game which ranks in the top five individually in the league. Austin also currently ranks 17th all-time in blocked shots in Atlantic Sun history with 119 rejections.
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 twelve games of league play, Clark is averaging 9.0 points and 7.4 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.
MITCHELL’S PURSUIT TO THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
Destiny 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 19 games of the 2012-13 season she has scored 210 to move her career total to 924 .. 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.
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 80-37 (.684) 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 103-41 (.715) against conference foes since moving into the A-Sun … the Lady Bucs have also won 83 of their last 114 games against conference foes (includes the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 A-Sun Tournaments).
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