Freshman Shamauria Bridges paces ETSU with 13 points
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 6, 2014) – A pair of underclassmen led the ETSU women’s basketball team on the offensive end, but it was not enough to match the hot-shooting Florida Gulf Coast Eagles who came away with a 70-45 victory on Thursday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 7-14 overall and 3-7 in the Atlantic Sun, while FGCU improves to 15-7 on the season and 9-1 in league play.
After establishing an NCAA Division I women’s basketball single-game record with 22 made three-pointers its last time in Johnson City, FGCU came out firing from behind the arc. The Eagles hoisted up six trifectas in the first four minutes of the game to no avail as the Bucs challenged these attempts from long range. As FGCU struggled on offense, the Blue & Gold did its best to hang in for the first half of the opening period, leading by one point, 11-10, with 11 minutes to go. From this point on, the Eagles finally found their offensive groove with a 13-2 run over the next seven minutes to take a 10-point advantage, 23-13, with 3:51 to go in the period. Conversely, ETSU struggled to get anything going on the offensive end, scoring only six points in the final nine minutes of the half to go into the break trailing, 32-17.
The Bucs’ usual energized play to begin the second half was absent in the early going as the Eagles ballooned their lead to as many as 20 points, 47-27, with 13:56 remaining. Faced with a sizeable deficit, the short-handed Bucs refused to go away and made things interesting midway through the second period. A 12-2 ETSU surge whittled FGCU’s advantage down to 49-39 with 9:05 left to play. The Eagles then quickly answered with a pair of three-pointers to get back into the driver’s seat. Down the stretch, ETSU’s lack of depth proved to be problematic as they tried to get back in the game. In the end, FGCU’s wealth of offensive weapons was too much as the Blue & Gold fell, 70-45.
Florida Gulf Coast featured four double-figure scorers including a game-high 14 points from guard Jenna Cobb. Meanwhile, the Bucs got their best offensive output from a pair of underclassmen as Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) paced the squad with 13 points, while Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) added 12 points and five rebounds.
Shooting 41 percent from the field and 39 percent from downtown (14-of-36), the Eagles also did their damage with 24 bench points and 21 points off of 17 ETSU turnovers. Additionally, FGCU turned 13 offensive rebounds into 11 second-chance points and assisted on 14 of its 25 made field goals.
Playing undermanned for the third-straight game, the Blue & Gold shot it at a 32 percent clip from the field and 33 percent (4-of-12) from behind the arc. Though they only got two points from their reserves, the Bucs did do damage with 20 points in the paint and corralled 39 total rebounds, including 14 offensive. Additionally, in limited opportunities, ETSU knocked down 7-of-10 free throws.
The Bucs will continue league play at home when they welcome the Stetson Hatters to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The contest will be ETSU’s annual “Play 4Kay: Think Pink Game.” Click here for more details on activities and promotions surrounding Saturday’s “Play 4Kay” matchup.
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