Bucs move to 1-0 in the Atlantic Sun with their 14th-consecutive victory over the Lady Bisons
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 2, 2014) – The ETSU women’s basketball team saw a nine-point advantage at halftime evaporate to a one-point deficit late in the second half, but a timely basket from Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) and clutch free throws down the stretch allowed the Bucs to hang on for a 78-75 victory over the Lipscomb Lady Bisons on Thursday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.
With the win ETSU improves to 1-0 in Atlantic Sun play and 5-7 overall, while Lipscomb drops to 0-1 in league action and 3-9 on the season.
In the first half, a combination of efficient offense and stellar defense proved beneficial for the Blue and Gold. ETSU fired from the field at a 58 percent clip and limited the Lady Bisons to 35 percent shooting. ETSU also got strong contributions from its bench in the period with 19 points, highlighted by a jumper from Jasmine Hotchkins (Phoenix, Ariz.) to put the Bucs ahead, 28-17, with 8:36 left in the half. After digging a double-digit hole, Lipscomb fought back to get within two, 28-26, with 6:45 remaining. The Blue and Gold then answered with a 15-8 run to end the half which put ETSU ahead, 43-34, at the break.
LU came out of halftime energized and went on a 13-5 surge to get within a point of the Bucs with 16 minutes to go. ETSU managed to cool down considerably from the field in the second period and also failed to take advantage of opportunities from the charity stripe. Lipscomb’s one-two punch of Danay Fothergill and Ashley Southern continued to be problematic for the Blue and Gold for the duration as ETSU clung to a slim lead late in the period. With the game tied at 73 all, a Bond bucket in the paint with 1:51 remaining broke the deadlock in the Bucs’ favor. Subsequent stops on defense and clutch free throws down the stretch by Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) and Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) allowed ETSU to hang on for a 78-75 victory.
Clark earned her sixth double-double of the season with team highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) joined Clark in double-figure scoring with 13 points including three made three-pointers. Hotchkins proved to be huge off the bench for the Bucs with a season-high 11 points in 19 minutes of play. LU’s duo of Fothergill and Southern accounted for 51 of the Lady Bisons’ 75 points, highlighted by Fothergill’s 31.
For the game, ETSU shot near season-bests of 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from three. The Bucs also got a strong 40 points in the paint and saw their bench chip-in a season-high 29 points. Additionally, the Blue and Gold added 13 second-chance points off of 10 offensive rebounds and leaked out on the break for 12 points.
Lipscomb shot 36 percent from the floor and a porous 19 percent (3-of-16) from downtown. The Lady Bisons did get to the free-throw line 33 times and converted on 22 of these tries. LU was able to turn ETSU over 22 times and cash-in on these miscues with 17 points.
The Bucs will continue conference play at home when they welcome the Northern Kentucky Norse to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 1:30 p.m.
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