Three starters reach double-figures for ETSU but additional scoring options few
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 21, 2013) – The ETSU women’s basketball team struggled to get over the hump Saturday against a balanced scoring attack from Chattanooga as the Bucs dropped a 70-61 decision to the Mocs inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 3-7 on the season while UTC improves to 10-3 overall.
Playing against a large front line from Chattanooga, ETSU struggled to keep the Mocs off the boards in the early going. UTC was able to convert offensive rebounds into second-chance points which negated good defensive possessions by the Bucs. After falling behind by five points six minutes into the game, the Bucs were able to generate some offense and went on a 13-5 run to take a three-point lead midway through the opening period. The Mocs proceeded to answer back and ETSU’s inability to knock down shots from deep and take advantage of opportunities at the free throw line allowed UTC to take back the lead and hold on to it into the break with a 32-26 advantage.
To begin the second half, Chattanooga increased its lead to 11 with a 7-2 burst, but the Bucs refused to go away and hung around for much of the period. ETSU got more production from its offense in the second half but the Mocs got exponentially better from the field with a 57 percent field-goal percentage and also converted 81 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe. Chattanooga’s balanced offensive attack allowed the Mocs to keep a steady advantage while the Bucs struggled to find any offensive output outside of three of their starters to help whittle down UTC’s lead. In the end, ETSU struggled with Chattanooga’s depth and the Bucs’ failure to get any production from their bench proved costly as the Mocs handed them their seventh loss of the season, 70-61.
ETSU got a game-high 19 points from Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and additional double-digit efforts from Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) with 17 points and Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) with 15. Outside of these three, scoring help was few and far between for the Bucs as only three other players reached the scoring column. Meanwhile, 10 players scored for Chattanooga including three in doubles-figures, led by Ashlen Dewart with 16 points.
After shooting a poor 38 percent from the field in the first half, the Mocs improved dramatically in the second half with 57 percent to bring their game total to 46. UTC’s reserves did most of the damage with 33 points compared to just three for ETSU. Chattanooga also outrebounded the Bucs, 41-24, and turned 13 offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points. The Mocs also played unselfish basketball with 18 assists on 23 made field goals.
ETSU shot a respectable 46 percent from the field but really struggled behind the arc with only 3-of-13 makes and failed to cash-in opportunities from the free-throw line with 43 percent (6-of-14) shooting. The Bucs did stick to their penchant of production in the paint (36-28) and turned the Mocs over 18 times which resulted in 18 points off these miscues.
The Bucs will have a break over the Christmas holiday and will return to action on Dec. 28 when they welcome the George Mason Patriots to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center at 1:30 p.m.
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