JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 3, 2012) – After nearly a two-week lay-off, the ETSU women’s basketball team returns to the hardwood as the Lady Bucs host Atlantic Sun Conference foe USC Upstate on Wednesday evening. Tip is set for 4:45 p.m. inside MSHA Athletic Center.
ETSU (1-11, 0-2) hasn’t play since suffering a heartbreaking 88-80 setback to in-state rival Chattanooga back on Dec. 22; however, the Lady Bucs open the 2012 portion of their schedule with three games in six days, beginning with Wednesday’s tilt versus the Spartans.
Senior forward Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) looks to build off her season-high 18-point effort last time out against the Lady Mocs as she is nearing the prestigious 1,000-point club. Washington is only 98 points shy of becoming the 20th player in program history to reach the milestone. Meanwhile, sophomore guard/forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) has scored in double figures in her last four games and is averaging 11.3 points and 8.9 rebounds over the Lady Bucs’ last seven contests.
As a team, the ETSU offense has switched to a higher gear in its last four outings. After averaging 57.9 points in their first eight games to start the campaign, the Blue and Gold are registering 73.8 points per game – including a season-high 80-point performance last time out. The Lady Bucs have enjoyed a well-balanced attack on the offensive end of the floor during this stretch as six players are averaging nearly eight points per game, with Mitchell leading the way at 12.5ppg.
Unlike the Lady Bucs, USC Upstate (1-12, 0-2) is coming off a quick turnaround as the Spartans suffered their sixth straight loss at Western Carolina on Monday night. The Spartans and Catamounts played an even first half, but Western Carolina outscored Upstate, 38-33, to capture the five-point non-conference win (63-58). Freshman post Paulina Zaveckaite recorded a double-double for the Spartans after finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while junior guard Tee’Ara Copney also added 14 points.
Upstate’s lone win came against UNC Asheville on Nov. 30 – but like the Lady Bucs – the Spartans have played a difficult non-conference slate. The Spartans – who are led by Copney’s 15.0 points per game – have played then No. 20 North Carolina and No. 6 Duke, along with SEC foes Vanderbilt and Auburn.
The Lady Bucs have won six of the eight games in the series, including all four in Johnson City. All four wins in the Dome have been by ten or more points, while ETSU is averaging 81.3 points per game against the Spartans.
Fans unable to make the trip to Johnson City can listen to all the action on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster as “Voice of the Lady Bucs” John Stevens will carry the play-by-play. Live video will also be available on A-Sun.TV and live stats are offered via Gametracker.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.