JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 18, 2012) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will be gunning for its fourth straight home win on Thursday night when the Lady Bucs host Belmont inside the MSHA Athletic Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
ETSU (4-13, 3-4 A-Sun) opened the 2012 portion of its schedule with three straight home conference wins prior to suffering back-to-back losses in Jacksonville this past weekend. The Lady Bucs hope returning home to the Dome – a place where the Blue and Gold have won 37 of their last 41 A-Sun games including eight straight – is something that can turn things back around into a positive direction.
Prior to heading down to Jacksonville, senior Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) helped lead the charge for the Lady Bucs during the three-game winning streak as she averaged 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.7 threes in the wins over USC Upstate, Mercer, and Kennesaw State. Overall, ETSU received strong team play during this stretch as six players averaged 7.0 points in the wins, while the Lady Buccaneer defense held the three teams to 57.0 points per game.
Like the Lady Bucs, Belmont (5-13, 4-3 A-Sun) has enjoyed success at home, but seen some bumps on the road. The Bruins – who are coming off a 65-58 win over Stetson in Nashville – have dropped eight of their nine road games on the season.
Belmont is led by all-conference performer Haley Nelson who ranks second in the A-Sun in blocks (1.8), third in rebounding (7.9) and field goal percentage (51.6), and is tied for third scoring (14.5). Nelson is coming off A-Sun Player of the Week honors after averaging 17 points and 11.5 rebounds in games against FGCU and Stetson.
Since suffering a 69-57 setback to Belmont in the 2007 A-Sun Championship game, the Lady Bucs have rattled off nine straight wins over the Bruins – including seven by 10 points or more. Overall, the Lady Bucs lead the all-time series, 12-5.
Last season the Lady Bucs defeated the Bruins, 58-49, in Johnson City, while handing the Bruins a 90-86 double overtime loss in Nashville. Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) only played in the first game last season, but posted 16 points, 10 rebounds, and two steals in the nine-point win inside the Dome. Meanwhile, Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) put together two solid efforts last season en route to averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds in 25.5 minutes of play against Belmont. The Manassas, Va. native finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists in the double overtime win in Nashville.
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 via A-Sun.TV, while live stats will be offered on GameTracker.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.