Regional rivals will meet for the 72nd time in each school’s history
BOONE, N.C. (Nov. 11, 2013) – Following a tough overtime loss to begin the season this past Friday evening in Memphis, the ETSU women’s basketball team will look to right the ship against regional rival Appalachian State on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. inside the Holmes Center.
The beginning of the Brittney Ezell era for women’s basketball at ETSU did not go quite as planned with a 77-74 overtime loss to the Memphis Tigers. After battling with the cross-state rival for 40 minutes, a few missed opportunities in the additional five minutes of the extra period proved costly. Inequalities between the two teams in chances at the free throw line also did not go in the Bucs’ favor.
Not to be lost in the disappointment of defeat were a number of positives that the team can build off of for the remainder of the season. The Blue and Gold played extremely hard throughout the contest and showed a tremendous amount of resiliency after being down towards the end of both the first half and regulation. ETSU also featured three double-figure scorers, highlighted by a team-high 17 points from junior Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.). Increased offensive output will prove crucial for the Bucs going forward as they face teams in the remainder of the nonconference schedule with strong offensive firepower.
The matchup versus Appalachian State will be the 72nd all-time meeting between the two schools; a series in which ASU holds 39-32 advantage and has won the last four. The Bucs and the Mountaineers met last season on Dec. 18 when App State used a 31-7 run over the final 13 minutes of the contest to blast ETSU, 85-57 inside Brooks Gym.
For more on Tuesday’s game, read the game notes below. For more on ETSU women’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 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 Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.
ETSU ENTERS INTO EZELL ERA
The ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2013-14 season under the guidance of first-year head coach. Brittney Ezell. A two-sport star in basketball and softball at the University of Alabama, Ezell comes to ETSU after spending three seasons as head coach at Belmont University where she compiled a 41-52 overall record. The Franklin, Tenn. native takes the reigns of a veteran-heavy team that returns nine letterwinners from an 8-18 overall 2012-13 campaign. Among the nine returnees are six players who started 10 or more games last season. Highlighted among the returnees is last year’s team-leading scorer and rebounder Destiny Mitchell who led the way with 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Supporting Mitchell are juniors Serena Clark and Cara Bowling who each averaged 9.5 points per game last season.
BUCS VS. Appalachian State
Tuesday’s contest inside the Holmes Center will be the 72nd all-time meeting between the two teams, a series in which App State holds a 39-32 overall advantage. The Bucs and the Mountaineers met last season when ASU blasted ETSU, 85-57, inside Brooks Gym on Dec. 18. In this meeting, ETSU took a four-point deficit into the half, but stormed back to take a one-point lead with 13 minutes left to play. The Mountaineers responded with a 36-7 burst over the durations of the half en route to a 85-57 victory. Newcomer Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) led the Buccaneers with 19 points, while Maryah Sydnor added a game-high 23 points for App State.
The ETSU Buccaneers feature nine returning letterwinners and six players who started 10 or more games last season. Among these returnees are two seniors, five juniors and two sophomores. The returning juniors and seniors accounted for 77 percent of the scoring and 68 percent of the rebounds in 2012-13. Seniors Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) and Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) alone accounted for nearly 30 percent of the scoring last season and ranked second and third on the team in total minutes played, respectively.
MEET THE NEWCOMERS
ETSU welcomes three new players for the 2013-14 season. The guard-heavy class features one early signee and two late signees that will try to help bolster the backcourt for the Bucs. Shamauria Bridges signed early with ETSU last season out of Miramar, Fla. and Hollywood Christian School. The 5-foot-7 southpaw was part of the Florida 2A state champion runner-up Hollywood Christian team in 2012. Jasmine Hotchkins - the first signing of the Ezell era - comes to ETSU from Pinnacle High School in Phoenix where she averaged four points and 1.2 assists per game for the 2013 Arizona Division I state runner-up and 32-3 overall Pinnacle Pioneers. Final signee Adriane Vaughan out of Midlothian, Va. and Crosby High School scored 1,021 points during her prep career as a Titan. She was also a first-team all-district selection, second-team all-region and third-team all-metro pick during her senior season.
Mitchell lands on preseason A-Sun team
Senior forward Mitchell was chosen as part of the 10-member Preseason All- Atlantic Sun conference team, the league office announced Oct.17. The Georgia native returns in 2013-14 after leading the team in both points per game (11.5) and rebounds per game (8.1) last season. Mitchell was also named to College Sports Madness’ Preseason All A-Sun team in early October. Prior to the 2012-13 season, the then junior was named to the Second-Team Preseason All-Conference team for the second-consecutive season.
Mitchell on the Cusp of 1,000 career points
Heading into Tuesday’s matchup versus App State, senior forward Mitchell currently has 993 career points. Mitchell is well on her way to become the 21st women’s basketball Buccaneer to join the 1,000-point club ... Before being slowed by injury in the final third of the 2012-13 regular season, she was 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... in total last season, Mitchell scored 264 to move her career total to 978 .. if Mitchell scores in similar fashion in 2013-14 as she did as a rookie, sophomore and junior, she will put herself in the top-10 in ETSU history.
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 2012-13 on Nov. 30 against Memphis (14 pts., 16 rebs.) and after beginning the 2013-14 campaign with 15 points and 10 rebounds as well against the Tigers on Nov. 8, Mitchell now has 26 so far in her career.
In 2012-13, the Bucs discovered the most offensive production through points in the paint. ETSU averaged roughly 30 points in the paint per game, including an average of 30 points in its last six. In a loss at Jacksonville, the Blue and Gold recorded 54 points in the paint, the most since scoring 50 against Jacksonville earlier this season on Jan. 28 in Johnson City. To begin the 2013-14 season at Memphis on Nov. 8, the Bucs recorded 36 points in the paint.
The Blue and Gold outrebounded the opposition in 20 of the 26 games last season and held a plus-6.0 rebounding margin, ranking first in the A-Sun … in a loss at FGCU, the Bucs outrebounded the Eagles by 20, 53-33 … the Bucs’ plus-6.0 rebound margin ranked among the top 30 nationally. To start the 2013-14 campaign, ETSU outrebounded the Memphis Tigers 47-44 in an overtime loss on Nov. 8.
BUCS PICKED MIDDLE OF THE PACK
The Atlantic Sun coaches picked the Bucs to finish tied with North Florida at fifth, while in the media poll ETSU was selected seventh ... the coaches picked FGCU with seven first-place votes to win the conference, while the media selected FGCU with 30 first-place votes ... the Bucs finished the 2012-13 season in eighth.
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