Late baskets and free throws by Tigers keep Bucs at bay
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Nov. 8, 2013) – In a highly-competitive and energized contest, the ETSU Buccaneers and the Memphis Tigers needed an extra five minutes to decide the winner as UM held off a late ETSU run in overtime to top the Blue and Gold, 77-74, inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 0-1 on the young season, while Memphis improves to 1-0 to begin the 2013-14 campaign.
The Bucs started the game strong with energized play from the jump. After the Tigers registered the first basket of the game, ETSU fired back with an 11-5 run before the first media timeout with 14:43 remaining in the half. The Blue and Gold quickly went cold from the field and saw UM surge ahead with a run of its own to take a 13-12 lead on a made free throw by Pa’Sonna Hope with 12:03 left in the period. Memphis then went on a 10-5 burst over the next four minutes to increase its lead to as many as eight. Over the final eight minutes of the period, the Bucs methodically chipped away at the deficit and narrowed the gap to two points with under a minute to play. The Blue and Gold tied things up on a jumper by Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) with 30 seconds remaining and went into the half deadlocked with Memphis, 29-29.
After falling behind by as many as five points early in the second period, ETSU used a 21-6 burst from the 17:54 to 11:08 marks to take its largest lead of the game, 52-42. The Tigers then fought back using a 15-5 run to tie the game at 57 with 5:25 left. Over the final five minutes of the second half, the two teams traded baskets before UM took a four-point lead off of a Buccaneer turnover. With 45 seconds remaining, Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) answered with a driving basket to cut the deficit to two. Following a scoreless Memphis offensive possession, McQueen was fouled in the backcourt and was sent to the line for the one and one. The sophomore proceeded to knock down both, knotting the game at 67, which sent the contest to overtime after a missed jumper from UM with time winding down.
Both teams traded the lead in the extra period but a Memphis jumper with approximately one minute remaining put the Tigers up 73-72. After UM increased its lead to three points, a Burley put back brought the Bucs to within one with seconds remaining. Late free throws from Memphis and a fast-break leak out sealed the game in favor of the Tigers, 77-74.
Memphis registered three double-digit scorers with Mooriah Rowser leading the way with 15 points followed by Pa’Sonna Hope with 12 and Asianna Fuqua-Bey with 11. Meanwhile, ETSU got a game-high 17 points from Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.), while Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) notched her 26th career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Additionally, Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) came up just shy of her own double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Tigers did not shoot it particularly well from the field for the game (38 percent), but did hurt ETSU in fast break points (10-4) and by making 11 more free throws on 16 more attempts than the Bucs.
Meanwhile, ETSU hung with Memphis in many of the statistical categories and even shot it better from the field at 44 percent. The inability to get to the free throw line as frequently as the Tigers and to knock them down when they did get there proved costly for the Bucs after shooting 65 percent (11-of-17) from the charity stripe.
The Bucs will continue the regular season with a trip over the mountain to Boone, N.C. to face the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.
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