Buccaneers looking to get back in win column after three-consecutive hard-fought losses
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 17, 2013) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will seek its first victory in the month of December when it welcomes the Indiana State Sycamores to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 5 p.m.
After a pair of highly-competitive losses against Southeastern Conference (SEC) heavyweights Vanderbilt (Dec. 3) and Kentucky (Dec. 15), the Bucs (2-6) will look to turn these positive progressions into a victory on Wednesday evening. In Sunday’s matchup at Kentucky, the Bucs hung with the No. 5/6 Wildcats for much of the contest. The Blue and Gold faced a 20-point halftime deficit but came out of the break energized and whittled UK’s advantage down to 10 points on three separate occasions. The inability by the Bucs to get the deficit within single-digits down the stretch ultimately proved costly as the Wildcats made some plays in the final portion of the second period to secure a 73-56 decision.
The matchup with Indiana State (3-4) will be the second all-time meeting between the two teams, a series that ETSU leads 1-0. In the only prior matchup, the Bucs came away with an 82-57 win in the Coca-Cola Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio on Dec. 4, 1981.
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.
MITCHELL TO MISS REMAINDER OF SEASON
As a result of a leg injury suffered in the first regular season game of the season at Memphis on Nov. 8, senior Destiny Mitchell will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign. Mitchell will undergo surgery and continue injury rehabilitation while the ETSU compliance department petitions for a medical redshirt to have the forward cleared to participate in 2014-15.
CLARK DOUBLES UP
Junior forward Serena Clark has started 2013-14 off strong, scoring in double-figures in six of the eight games this season. After falling just one rebound short of a double-double in the season opener at Memphis (11/8), the native Georgian reeled off four-consecutive double-doubles for ETSU in games from Nov. 12th thru the 29th. The most recent performance came versus Alabama A&M (11/29) when the junior posted a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in an 82-65 win. Clark has now exceeded her double-double total from last season just eight games into the 2013-14 campaign with five this season and seems poised for more throughout the year. Her 11.6 points per game currently ranks among the top-20 in the A-Sun, while her 11.9 boards per game ranks second in the league.
Junior guard Cara Bowling is currently averaging a team-leading 12.4 points per game for the Bucs to begin the 2013-14 season. Presently, this point total per game is tied for 14th in the A-Sun while her 2.0 three-point field goal makes per game stands tied for fourth in the league. 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 STARTER
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 eight 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 at App State 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.
BOND BEGINS SEASON STRONG
After averaging 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 26 games and six starts in 2012-13, junior forward Maria Bond has proved to be a force in the interior to begin the 2013-14 campaign. The native Georgian has started seven games this season and is currently averaging 9.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Bond posted a season-high 14 points at Kentucky (12/15) and remains a vital piece in ETSU’s paint production going forward.
To begin the 2013-14 season, the Bucs are averaging nearly 30 points in the paint through eight games including 36 in the season opener at Memphis (11/8), in the home opener vs. Morehead State (11/21) and in a home date vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/24). The Blue and Gold got a season-high 42 points in the paint in an 82-65 win versus Alabama A&M (11/29).
BUCS ON THE OFFENSIVE
Through seven games to begin the 2013-14 season, ETSU is currently averaging 71.0 points per game which is second in the A-Sun. With the 71.0 points per game also come successes in field goal percentage where the Bucs are second in the league at 42 percent and in three-point field percentage where ETSU is tops in the conference at 35 percent.
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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