Aim to repeat the strong performance vs. JU earlier this season
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2013) – Hoping to continue the momentum created from defeating Kennesaw State a few days prior, the ETSU Lady Bucs will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins on Saturday afternoon, at 1 p.m., inside Veterans Memorial Arena on the first leg of its final regular season road trip of the year. The game will be broadcast through ESPN3/WatchESPN.com.
After downing the Kennesaw State Owls, 69-65, on Monday evening, the Lady Bucs will look to build off of this come-from-behind victory when they face another team they own a previous victory against this season in Jacksonville. Finally hitting a stride at this point in the season would be the ideal scenario for ETSU as it prepares for the Atlantic Sun Championship in Macon, Ga. in a few weeks. The Lady Bucs can clinch a berth in the A-Sun Championship with a win over Jacksonville or a Lipscomb loss on Saturday.
The matchup between the Lady Bucs and the Dolphins will be the 19th all-time meeting between the two schools, a series in which ETSU dominates with a 14-4 overall series advantage. ETSU and JU met earlier this season in Johnson City where the Lady Bucs topped the Dolphins, 74-57. In this recent contest, the Blue and Gold dominated JU from start to finish behind a season-high 22 points from sophomore center Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.). The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for ETSU.
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 (7-15, 5-10) ran into a hot-shooting Kennesaw State team to start the game. The Owls drained four three-pointers in the first four minutes of the contest which allowed them to build up a 16-point lead midway through the opening stanza. The Lady Bucs used a 22-9 run over the final 10 minutes of the half to shorten to deficit to 36-33 at the break. After KSU opened the second period strong and built its lead up to seven points, ETSU went on an 11-3 burst to take a one-point lead with 14:14 remaining. The Lady Bucs managed to increase their advantage to six with 5:49 left and held on down the stretch with clutch shots and critical defensive plays en route to a 69-65 victory. Tiana Burley turned in another strong performance with team-highs of 22 points and nine rebounds. Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla) also added 10 points.
LADY BUCS VS. JACKSONVILLE
Saturday’s contest inside Veteran’s Memorial Arena will be the 19th all-time meeting between the two teams. The Lady Bucs and the Dolphins met earlier this season, on Jan. 28, when ETSU topped JU, 74-57. In this recent matchup, ETSU 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.
After being inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this season against North Florida on Jan. 26, sophomore guard Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) has successfully responded to the promotion. Following scoring 14 points in her first game as a starter this season, Bowling has kept the momentum going with strong offensive performances since. In the Elizabethton, Tenn. native’s last five games, she is averaging 10.8 points per game, including a season-high tying 15 points vs. Northern Kentucky on Feb. 4. The sharpshooter has also averaged 1.2 made three-pointers in these contests.
The Lady Bucs have recently discovered the most offensive production through points in the paint. ETSU is currently averaging 31 points in the paint per game, including an average of 33 points in its last 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.
The Blue and Gold have outrebounded the opposition in 17 of the 22 games this season and enter Saturday’s game with a plus-6.6 rebounding margin (43.2-36.6), ranking first in the A-Sun … in a loss at FGCU, the Lady Bucs outrebounded the Eagles by 20, 53-33 … the Lady Bucs’ plus-6.6 rebound margin currently ranks in the top 30 nationally. ETSU also outrebounds its A-Sun opponents at a plus-7.9 clip.
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 performance with another double-double against Stetson with 20 points and 12 rebounds and recently scored a season-high tying 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 69-65 win vs. Kennesaw State. Burley is currently averaging 9.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for ETSU.
After being inserted into the starting lineup at the beginning of conference play, Shawn Randall 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), at Kennesaw State (18 points) and at home vs. KSU (10 points). Randall is currently averaging 8.3 points per game in Atlantic Sun action.
Currently the Lady Bucs are averaging 5.4 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 (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 1.3 blocks per game which ranks in the top five individually in the league. Austin also currently ranks 15th all-time in blocked shots in Atlantic Sun history with 126 rejections.
MITCHELL’S PURSUIT TO THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) 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 22 games of the 2012-13 season she has scored 219 to move her career total to 933 .. if Mitchell scores in similar fashion in the next two years as she did as a rookie and as 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 15 games of league play, Clark is averaging 8.3 points and 7.7 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. The redshirt sophomore also greatly contributed in 69-65 win vs. Kennesaw State with nine points and nine rebounds.
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 81-39 (.675) in the months of January through March, including a program-best 19-3 mark in 2009-10.
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 25 bench points per game, including a season-high 44 points off the bench against Memphis. Key reserves Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) (6.0 ppg) and Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) (9.2 ppg) have been vital for the Lady Bucs.
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 104-43 (.707) against conference foes since moving into the A-Sun … the Lady Bucs have also won 84 of their last 117 games against conference foes (includes the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 A-Sun Tournaments).
75 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
Since the 2002-03 season the Lady Bucs are 106-18 when the they hit the 75-point plateau, including 76-14 since the 2006-07 season... recently, ETSU put up 86 to defeat Lipscomb by 22 and earn the 106th such victory.
ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!
For more information on Buccaneer athletics, visit ETSUBucs.com.