MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Nov. 7, 2013) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will begin the 2013-14 regular season with a trip across the state to Memphis to take on the Memphis Tigers on Friday, Nov. 8, at 5 p.m. inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
The Brittney Ezell era for women’s basketball at ETSU will officially begin with a nonconference matchup against cross-state foe Memphis on Friday evening in Memphis. The Buccaneers enter play against the Tigers after an exhibition matchup vs. Shepherd University on Saturday, Nov. 2, inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center. The game saw the hot-shooting Rams take a 55-51 lead into halftime. ETSU then turned it up a notch in the second period and after tying the game with roughly 16 minutes left, blew Shepherd away for the duration of the contest en route to a 116-82 victory.The Blue and Gold featured six players scoring in double-figures including junior forward Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) with a game-high 19 points.
The matchup versus Memphis will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two teams; a series in which UM holds an 8-3 advantage. The Bucs and Tigers met last season on Nov. 30 when the Blue and Gold bested Memphis 83-73 inside the Dome.
For more on Friday’s game, read the game notes below. For more on ETSU women’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s hoops link.
ETSU ENTERS INTO EZELL ERA
The ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2013-14 season under the guidance of first-year head coach Ezell. A two-sport star in basketball and softball at the University of Alabama, Ezell comes to ETSU after spending three seasons as head coach at Belmont University where she compiled a 41-52 overall record. The Franklin, Tenn. native takes the reigns of a veteran-heavy team that returns nine letterwinners from an 8-18 overall 2012-13 campaign. Among the nine returnees are six players who started 10 or more games last season. Highlighted among the returnees is last year’s team-leading scorer and rebounder Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) who led the way with 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Supporting Mitchell are juniors Clark and Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) who each averaged 9.5 points per game last season.
BUCS VS. memphis
Friday’s contest inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two teams, a series in which Memphis holds an 8-3 overall series advantage. The Bucs and the Tigers met last season when the Blue and Gold bested, UM, 83-73 inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center. In this meeting, ETSU recorded its first win of the 2012-13 season by responding to a 9-2 Memphis run early in the first half with a run of its own to take a 25-9 lead with 8:52 remaining in the period. The Bucs were able to inflate their lead to as many as 20 with five minutes remaining before taking a 40-28 advantage into the break. ETSU was able to stave off any UM comeback in the second half, holding a double-digit lead for 19 of the 20 minutes of the period. With four players scoring in double-figures, the Bucs downed the Tigers by a score of 83-73.
The ETSU Buccaneers feature nine returning letterwinners and six players who started 10 or more games last season. Among these returnees are two seniors, five juniors and two sophomores. The returning juniors and seniors accounted for 77 percent of the scoring and 68 percent of the rebounds in 2012-13. Seniors Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) and Mitchell alone accounted for nearly 30 percent of the scoring last season and ranked second and third on the team in total minutes played, respectively.
MEET THE NEWCOMERS
ETSU welcomes three new players for the 2013-14 season. The guard-heavy class features one early signee and two late signees that will try to help bolster the backcourt for the Bucs. Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) signed early with ETSU last season out of Miramar, Fla. and Hollywood Christian School. The 5-foot-7 southpaw was part of the Florida 2A state champion runner-up Hollywood Christian team in 2012. Jasmine Hotchkins (Phoenix, Ariz.) - the first signing of the Ezell era - comes to ETSU from Pinnacle High School in Phoenix where she averaged four points and 1.2 assists per game for the 2013 Arizona Division I state runner-up and 32-3 overall Pinnacle Pioneers. Final signee Adriane Vaughan (Midlothian, Va.) out of Midlothian, Va. and Crosby High School scored 1,021 points during her prep career as a Titan. She was also a first-team all-district selection, second-team all-region and third-team all-metro pick during her senior season
Mitchell lands on preseason A-Sun team
Senior Mitchell was chosen as part of the 10-member Preseason All- Atlantic Sun conference team, the league office announced Oct.17. The Georgia native returns in 2013-14 after leading the team in both points per game (11.5) and rebounds per game (8.1) last season. Mitchell was also named to College Sports Madness’ Preseason All A-Sun team in early October. Prior to the 2012-13 season, the then junior was named to the Second-Team Preseason All-Conference team for the second-consecutive season.
Mitchell on the Cusp of 1,000 career points
Heading into Friday’s matchup versus Memphis, senior forward Mitchell currently has 978 career points. Mitchell is well on her way to become the 21st women’s basketball Buccaneer to join the 1,000-point club. Before being slowed by injury in the final third of the 2012-13 regular season, she was 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. In total last season, Mitchell scored 264 to move her career total to 978. If Mitchell scores in similar fashion in 2013-14 as she did as a rookie, sophomore and junior, she will put herself in the top-10 in ETSU history.
BUCS PICKED MIDDLE OF THE PACK
The Atlantic Sun coaches picked the Bucs to finish tied with North Florida at fifth, while in the media poll ETSU was selected seventh ... the coaches picked FGCU with seven first-place votes to win the conference, while the media selected FGCU with 30 first-place votes ... the Bucs finished the 2012-13 season in eighth.
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