JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 8, 2012) – Coming off a three-game road swing, the ETSU women’s basketball team opens a brief two-game home stand on Thursday night when the Lady Bucs host Jacksonville in Atlantic Sun Conference play. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside the MSHA Athletic Center.
The Lady Bucs (6-17, 5-7 A-Sun) are coming off a disappointing road trip where the Blue and Gold went 1-2 (beat Mercer, lost to USC Upstate and Kennesaw State).
Most recently, ETSU suffered a tough 78-68 setback at Kennesaw State last Saturday afternoon. The Lady Bucs, who led by as many as 15 points in the first half and by eight at the break, went ice cold in the second half as the Owls rallied for their first win over ETSU in program history (12-1 all-time). After shooting 55.6 percent (15-27) in the first half, the Lady Bucs went 9-of-33 (27.3 percent) from the field in the final 20 minutes – including 2-for-18 from beyond the arc – while Kennesaw shot 54.9 percent for the game (28-51). Sophomore Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) was a perfect 5-of-5 in the opening 20 minutes of the game, but only got two touches in the second half to finish with 15 points (6-for-6 shooting) and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes of play.
Mitchell, who averaged 22.5 points and 9.0 rebounds while shooting an astonishing 85.7 percent (18-21) in two games down in Georgia, has been dominating over the last six outings for the Blue and Gold. The Bluffton, Ga. native is recording 17.8 points and 11.0 rebounds along with shooting an impressive 77.2 percent (44-57) during this stretch.
Like the Lady Bucs, Jacksonville (7-17, 1-12 A-Sun) has seen its struggles on the road as the Dolphins are 1-12 away from Jacksonville this season with their lone road win being a 76-65 victory at Mercer back on Jan. 19. Since the win over the Lady Bears, Jacksonville has suffered five consecutive losses with its most recent setback being a 70-60 versus Florida Gulf Coast.
The Dolphins are led by 5-foot-9 senior guard Crystal Bell who is averaging 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while 5-foot-10 sophomore forward Jade Cargill has picked up her play against conference foes. Cargill is averaging 10.9 points and 8.8 rebounds, while shooting 80.0 percent (40-50) at the free throw line in 13 league games. As a team, the Dolphins rank second in the conference in steals (11.3) and third in turnover margin (+2.4).
ETSU leads the all-time series 13-3 and are a perfect 6-0 against the Dolphins in Johnson City. However, the Lady Bucs have lost two straight against Jacksonville, including a 70-44 setback in the River City back on Jan. 14. Of the 16 meetings in the series, 11 have been decided by less than 10 points.
Fans unable to make the trip to the Dome on Thursday night 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 ASun.TV, while live stats will be generated via Gametracker.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.