First-ever meeting between the two teams
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 28, 2013) – Looking to get back on track after dropping its second-consecutive home contest on Sunday, Nov. 24, the ETSU women’s basketball team will host the Alabama A&M Bulldogs on Friday evening at 7 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
A costly first half was too much for the Buccaneers to overcome as the fast-paced Saint Francis (Pa.) Red Flash raced to a 92-79 victory on Sunday inside Brooks Gym. Full-court pressure from SFU proved problematic for ETSU in the first half as the Blue and Gold fell behind by 13 points at halftime. A 40-point offensive explosion from Saint Francis’ Alli Williams negated any ETSU comeback attempt and left the Blue and Gold searching for its first home victory of the season.
The Bucs did feature four double-figure scorers including a career-high 22 points from junior Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.). Junior Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) also added her third-consecutive double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds.
The matchup with Alabama A&M will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. A&M is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and is located in Huntsville, Ala.
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 Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.
ETSU ENTERS INTO EZELL ERA
The ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2013-14 season under the guidance of first-year head coach. Brittney 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 who led the way with 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Supporting Mitchell are juniors Serena Clark and Cara Bowling who each averaged 9.5 points per game last season.
CLARK DOUBLES UP
Junior forward Serena Clark has started 2013-14 off strong, scoring in double-figures in each of the four games this season. After falling just one rebound short of a double-double in the season opener at Memphis (11/8), the native Georgian has reeled off three consecutive double-doubles for ETSU. Clark has now matched her double-double total from last season just four games into the 2013-14 campaign and seems poised for more throughout the season. Her 11.8 points per game currently ranks 19th in the A-Sun, while her 12.3 boards per game ranks second in the league.
Junior guard Cara Bowling is currently averaging a team-leading 16 points per game for the Bucs to begin the 2013-14 season. This point total per game presently ranks fifth in the A-Sun and her 2.5 three-point field goal makes per game also ranks third in the conference. The Elizabethton native posted a career-high 22 points vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/24) including four makes from behind the arc.
FROM WALK-ON TO VITAL COG
Sophomore guard Chandler Christopher has proved to be a valuable piece for the Bucs to begin the 2013-14 season. After spending the entirety of the 2012-13 campaign as a seldom-used freshman walk-on, first-year head coach Brittney Ezell liked what she saw from Christopher and decided to elevate the Greeneville native from walk-on to scholarship status prior to this season. Christopher has since recorded her first-career starts in each of the first four games of this season and has been a vital cog for the Blue and Gold. After netting two points, five rebounds and three assists in the opener at Memphis (11/8), the guard followed with career-highs of 17 points and four assists in an also career-best 37 minutes played in ETSU’s 81-72 win at Appalachian State (11/12). Christopher’s performance in the Bucs’ first win of the season led to her being named A-Sun Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Monday, Nov. 18. The sophomore then added another team-leading scoring performance to her résumé with 15 points in a 77-69 loss to Morehead State on Nov. 21.
In 2012-13, the Bucs discovered the most offensive production through points in the paint. ETSU averaged roughly 30 points in the paint per game, including an average of 30 points in its last six. In a loss at Jacksonville, the Blue and Gold recorded 54 points in the paint, the most since scoring 50 against Jacksonville earlier this season on Jan. 28 in Johnson City. To begin the 2013-14 season, the Bucs are averaging 35 points in the paint through four games including 36 in the season opener at Memphis (11/8) as well as in the home opener vs. Morehead State (11/21) and in a home date vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/24).
The Blue and Gold outrebounded the opposition in 20 of the 26 games last season and held a plus-6.0 rebounding margin, ranking first in the A-Sun … in a loss at FGCU, the Bucs outrebounded the Eagles by 20, 53-33. The Bucs’ plus-6.0 rebound margin ranked among the top 30 nationally. To start the 2013-14 campaign, ETSU outrebounded the Memphis Tigers 47-44 in a 77-74 overtime loss on Nov. 8 and boarded evenly with the Appalachian State at 40 in the Bucs’ 81-72 win in Boone, N.C. on Nov. 12. The Bucs also outrebounded the Morehead State Eagles, 36-27, in a 77-69 loss on Nov. 21. The Bucs’ current +1.5 rebound margin ranks fourth in the A-Sun.
BUCS ON THE OFFENSIVE
Through three games to begin the 2013-14 season, ETSU is currently averaging 75.8 points per game which ranks second in the A-Sun. With the 75.8 points per game also come successes in field goal percentage and three-point field percentage where the Bucs are leading the league at 45 and 38 percent, respectively.
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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