ETSU home again for first time in nearly a month
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 12, 2013) – After playing on the road for nearly a month, the Lady Bucs return to the friendly confines of the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center looking to improve to .500 in Atlantic Sun play when they host Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 1:30 p.m.
ETSU (3-7) (1-2) aims to build on some momentum they gained after knocking off Lipscomb in Nashville, Tenn. on Jan. 5, but hit a snag when they fell to A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky in Highland Heights, Ky. two days later. The win against Lipscomb snapped a four-game losing streak.
The matchup between the Lady Bucs and the Eagles will be the 11th all-time meeting between the two schools, a series in which FGCU (11-5, 4-0) has dominated with six straight victories and an overall 8-2 series advantage. ETSU and FGCU played three times last season, the most recent being a 79-63 Eagles’ win on Feb. 29, 2012 in the Atlantic Sun Championship quarterfinals which ended the Lady Bucs’ 2011-12 campaign.
For more on Saturday’s game, read the game notes below. For more on ETSU women’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s hoops link.
WE ARE “ETSU”
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” throughout the 2012-13 season ... East Tennessee State in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics, please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Lady Buccaneers, but Lady Bucs is also acceptable.
LAST TIME OUT
ETSU (3-7) (1-2) looked to continue the momentum from Saturday’s win at Lipscomb with a trip to Highland Heights, Ky. to take on the Northern Kentucky Norse (5-8) (2-2). After back and forth action, NKU went on a run and extended the lead to 12 points with 3:51 remaining in the first half. ETSU responded with a 7-0 run of their own, but the Norse answered and enhanced the lead to eight, 46-38, at intermission. NKU was quick out of the gate in the second half and went on an 11-4 run in the opening seven minutes. The deficit was too much to overcome though and ETSU fell, 68-55. Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) had a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds as well as a team season-high seven steals. Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) added 10 points and six assists, while Shawn Randall (Tampa, Fla.) tallied nine points.
LADY BUCS VS. FLORIDA GULF COAST
Saturday’s contest in the MSHA Athletics Center will be the 11th all-time meeting between the two Atlantic Sun conference foes. The Lady Bucs and the Eagles last met last season on Feb. 29 when FGCU bested ETSU, 79-63, in the A-Sun Championship quarterfinal. ETSU played well against the No. 1 seed FGCU in the first half, but a 17-0 second half run by the Eagles was too much for the Lady Bucs to handle and led to a final score of 79-63 in favor of the Eagles. The loss made it three in a row on the season for FGCU over the Lady Bucs and ended ETSU’s season in which it finished 8-22 overall and 7-11 in league play. Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) added a game-high 13 points.
The emergence of redshirt-sophomore Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) has provided a badly-needed inside presence for the Lady Bucs. In the transfer’s first action as a Lady Buc due to NCAA regulations, the center came off the bench and posted a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to Appalachian State. This performance awarded Burley A-Sun Newcomer of the Week honors on Dec. 26. Burley also was a big contribution off the bench for the Lady Bucs against USC Upstate, in which she posted eight points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of play.
The Blue and Gold have out-rebounded the opposition in six of the ten games this season and enter Saturday’s game with a plus-3.0 rebounding margin (42.9-39.9), ranking first in the A-Sun … in its game at Morehead State, ETSU out-rebounded the Eagles by 20, 46-26 … the Lady Bucs’ plus-3.0 rebound margin currently ranks in the top 100 nationally.
After being inserted into the starting lineup at the beginning of conference play, Shawn Randall has answered the call and has been stellar through the first three games of league play. In her first start of the season at USC Upstate, Randall tallied 16 points and was 4-of-6 from behind the arc. The junior guard followed this performance with strong showings at Lipscomb (13 points, 4 rebounds) and at Northern Kentucky (9 points). Randall is currently averaging 12.7 points per game in Atlantic Sun action.
MCQUEEN STRONG FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
In addition to running the team as a true freshman point guard, Brianna McQueen has shown no fear at the free throw stripe with the game on the line. At Lipscomb, McQueen stepped the line and buried clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the game in the Lady Bucs’ favor. McQueen currently ranks fourth in the A-Sun in free throw shooting at 77.3 percent.
MITCHELL’S HOT START
Destiny Mitchell has scored in double figures in four out of ten games on the season and is averaging 11.7 points per contest … Mitchell scored a season-high 26 points in the opener at High Point back on Nov. 10 and added 14 points and 16 rebounds in the 10-point win vs. Memphis to close out the month of November ... Mitchell is currently eighth in the A-Sun in scoring (11.7), third in rebounding (8.2), third in steals (2.2) and fourth in field goal percentage (47.7).
MITCHELL’S PURSUIT TO THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
Mitchell is well on her way to become the 21st Lady Buc to join the 1,000-point club ... She is on pace to break the 1,000-point mark near the end of February as she registered 347 points as a freshman and 367 points as a sophomore for 714 total points... through ETSU’s first ten games of the 2012-13 season she has scored 105 to move her career total to 819 .. if Mitchell scores in similar fashion in the next two years as she did as a rookie and a sophomore, she will put herself in the top-10 in Lady Buc history.
CLARK TURNS IT ON FOR A-SUN PLAY
After a solid start to the season for the now eligible transfer, Serena Clark has really turned it on when it comes to Atlantic Sun action. Through the first three games of league play, Clark is averaging 10.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, including back-to-back double-doubles at Lipscomb and at Northern Kentucky with 10 points & 14 rebounds and 16 points, 10 rebounds & seven steals, respectively.
BOOST FROM THE BENCH
Through the early portion of the season, ETSU has gotten strong contributions from its bench. On the season, ETSU averages roughly 30 bench points per game, including a season-high 57 points off the bench against Morehead State. Key reserves Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) (7.0 ppg), Tiana Burley (6.8 ppg) and Brianna Bogard (Georgetown, Texas) (4.5 ppg) have proved to be very valuable off the bench for the Lady Bucs.
SECOND HALF SURGES
The Lady Bucs have been a tough team to beat when it comes to the second half of the season (games played from January-March) … since January of 2008, ETSU is 77-31 (.713) in the months of January through March, including a program-best 19-3 mark in 2009-10.
HAVING FUN IN THE A-SUN
The Lady Bucs have enjoyed a lot of success since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06 … since joining the league, the Lady Buccaneers have averaged 15 conference wins a year, including a league-best and school record 18-2 mark in 2009-10, three Atlantic Sun Tournament titles (2008-2010), and two regular season championships (2008 and 2010) …in total, ETSU is 100-35 (.741) against conference foes since moving into the A-Sun … the Lady Bucs have also won 80 of their last 106 games against conference foes (includes the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 A-Sun Tournaments).
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