Lady Bucs become MU’s 11th straight victim in league play
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2013) – After capturing a lead late in the first half that they held onto into halftime with a 34-33 advantage, the Lady Bucs could not find the bottom of the net in the second period as they dropped a 67-58 decision to Mercer on Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 6-15 overall and 4-10 in Atlantic Sun play, while Mercer improves to 17-7 overall and 11-2 in league action.
“A very disappointing second half,” ETSU head coach Karen Kemp said. “I thought we came out with a lot of energy to start the game and in the second half we had a letdown. Mercer is a really good basketball team. For the most part, I am proud of the effort that my team gave and we definitely miss Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) on the floor because she is a big part of our offense and our defense.”
The cold shooting for the Lady Bucs continued to open the half, going nearly three minutes without their first made field goal. Mercer capitalized on ETSU’s inefficiency from the field and accumulated a 13-8 advantage with 12:22 remaining in the period. The Blue and Gold responded with an 11-5 run from the 12:22 to 7:07 marks to take a one-point lead. The Lady Bucs even increased their lead to as many as five with a Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) jumper with 3:05 remaining in the stanza. A 5-1 Bears run over the final three minutes of the half closed the ETSU lead to 34-33 at the break.
After it appeared the Lady Bucs had found their groove on the offensive end in the opening period, the Lady Bucs went dead cold in the second half. The Blue and Gold shot only 19 percent and made only six field goals the entire stanza (6-of-31). With ETSU struggling to find the bottom of the net, Mercer went on a 19-5 run during the first half of the second period and took control of the game with a 52-39 lead. Over the next 10 minutes, the Blue and Gold continued to struggle and saw MU increase their lead to as many as 17 with 7:28 left. Cutting the deficit to nine in the final seconds was the closest the Lady Bucs would get, falling 67-58.
MU’s Kendra Grant once again battered ETSU with 23 points, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, and was accompanied by another 20-point scorer with Precious Bridges posting an even 20 points. Meanwhile, the Lady Bucs got a team-high 12 points from Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.), while Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) added 11 points and five rebounds. Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) also contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
MU shot a reasonable 44 percent from the field, as well as a solid 46 percent from three. The Bears only got to the free throw line 11 times but converted on seven of them. Mercer was also able to get out on the fast break and secure 10 points compared to six for ETSU.
Meanwhile, the Lady Bucs’ lowly second half shooting pushed their game average down to 33 percent. ETSU attempted only seven three-pointers, cashing in on three of them, and shot 79 percent from the charity stripe. The Blue and Gold again outrebounded their opponent, 42-35, and totaled 15 second chance points off of 15 offensive rebounds. The Lady Bucs also held edges in points in the paint (22-16) and bench points (23-17). ETSU’s 15 turnovers again proved to be too many to steal a win against a team in the upper echelon of the Atlantic Sun standings.
The Lady Bucs conclude the homestand when they welcome the Kennesaw State Owls to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Monday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets.
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