Looks to achieve its first three-game winning streak since January of 2012
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 4, 2013) – After topping Lipscomb and stringing together back-to-back wins for the second time this season, the Lady Bucs end their four-game homestand when they welcome the Northern Kentucky Norse (8-11, 5-5) to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Monday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.
ETSU (6-11, 4-6) continued its newly-found offensive efficiency and smothering defense when it dominated Lipscomb from the start, 86-64, on Saturday afternoon inside the Dome. This offensive firepower allowed the Blue and Gold to register their highest-scoring first half of the season with 45 points in the opening period and their 86 total points is the most ETSU has scored in a game this season. The scoring was balanced, with four Lady Bucs reaching double-figures, led by Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) with 16 points. Mitchell seemed well on her way to a triple-double but was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons due to injury early in the second half. On the defensive end against NKU, ETSU will look to contain guard Kayla Thacker who averages 10.7 points per game and limit guard Rianna Gayheart who shoots 41 percent from three-point range, good for third in the Atlantic Sun.
The matchup between the Lady Bucs and the Norse will be only the second all-time meeting between the two schools, with the first meeting being earlier this season when NKU topped ETSU, 68-55, in Highland Heights, Ky.
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 (6-11, 4-6) looked to string together back-to-back wins for the second time this season when they welcomed the Lipscomb Lady Bisons (2-18, 1-9) to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center. The Lady Bucs got out of the gates strong and scored the first 13 points of the contest. ETSU was able to increase its lead throughout the half, getting it to as many as 25 with eight minutes left in the stanza. The Blue and Gold went into the break with a 45-28 advantage. In the second period, ETSU maintained a large lead for the most part, but did allow LU to get within 12 points with nine minutes remaining. A 17-9 Lady Bucs run over the final five minutes sealed the game, 86-64. Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) lead the team with 16 points and seven steals in only 18 minutes of play. Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) pitched in 13 points and seven rebounds.
LADY BUCS VS. NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Monday’s contest inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center will be only the 2nd all-time meeting between the two teams. The Lady Bucs and the Norse met for the first time earlier this season, on Jan. 7, when NKU topped ETSU, 68-55. In this matchup, ETSU looked to continue the momentum from a win at Lipscomb with a trip to Highland Heights, Ky. to take on the Northern Kentucky Norse. 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 proved too much to overcome and ETSU fell, 68-55. Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) had a team-high 16 points & 10 rebounds and a team season-high seven steals. Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) added 10 points and six assists, while Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) tallied nine 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 came up huge off the bench in the win against Jacksonville when she posted season-highs of 22 points and four blocks as well as 11 rebounds in only 20 minutes of play. Burley is currently averaging 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds, primarily off the bench, for ETSU.
The Lady Bucs have recently discovered the most offensive production through points in the paint. ETSU is currently averaging 30 points in the paint per game, including an average of 38 points in its past five. In the win against Jacksonville, the Blue and Gold recorded 50 points in the paint, the most since scoring 50 as well on Jan. 31, 2011 in a 100-62 victory against Mercer in Johnson City.
After being inserted into the starting lineup at the beginning of conference play, Shawn Randall has answered the call and has been stellar in 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), at Northern Kentucky (9 points) and at Kennesaw State (18 points). Randall is currently averaging 8.3 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 and at Kennesaw State, McQueen stepped the line and buried clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the game in the Lady Bucs’ favor. McQueen currently is seventh in the A-Sun in free throw shooting at 75 percent.
The Blue and Gold have outrebounded the opposition in 12 of the 17 games this season and enter Monday’s game with a plus-5.4 rebounding margin (42.7-37.3), ranking first in the A-Sun … in its game at Morehead State, ETSU outrebounded the Eagles by 20, 46-26 … the Lady Bucs’ plus-5.4 rebound margin currently ranks in the top 50 nationally.
Currently the Lady Bucs are averaging 5.0 blocks per contest, good for tops in the Atlantic Sun. ETSU swatted season-highs of eight shots in wins against Memphis on Nov. 30, versus Jacksonville on Jan. 28, against Lipscomb on Feb. 2 and in a loss to Stetson on Jan. 14, each inside the MSHA Athletics Center. The Blue and Gold are led by Tosha Austin’s (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 1.1 blocks per game which ranks in the top five individually in the league. Austin also currently ranks 17th all-time in blocked shots in Atlantic Sun history with 119 rejections.
MITCHELL’S HOT START
Destiny Mitchell has scored in double figures in ten out of the sixteen games she has played in this season and is averaging 12.6 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 (12.6), second in rebounding (8.8), second in steals (2.6) and tied for third in field goal percentage (50.0).
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 17 games of the 2012-13 season she has scored 202 to move her career total to 916 .. 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 ten games of league play, Clark is averaging 9.2 points and 7.5 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.
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 80-35 (.695) 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 103-39 (.725) against conference foes since moving into the A-Sun … the Lady Bucs have also won 83 of their last 112 games against conference foes (includes the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 A-Sun Tournaments).
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 25 bench points per game, including a season-high 44 points off the bench against Memphis. Key reserves Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) (6.1 ppg) and Tiana Burley (7.1 ppg) have been vital for the Lady Bucs.
Destiny Mitchell recorded 11 double-doubles in her rookie season and she finished the 2011-12 season with four consecutive double-doubles before going down with her knee injury against UNF on Feb. 12 … in those 11 games, Mitchell averaged 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.7 steals in 33.5 minutes of work, while also shooting 53 percent from the field (81-152)... Mitchell had 10 more double-doubles in 2011-12... after earning her first double-double of this season on Nov. 30 against Memphis (14 pts., 16 rebs.) and after posting three consecutive double-doubles at Kennesaw State (18 pts., 10 rebs.), at Mercer (17 pts., 13 rebs.) and vs. North Florida (12 pts. 14 rebs.), Mitchell now has 25 so far in her career.
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