Regional rivals will square-off for the 74th time in each team’s history
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 20, 2013) – Looking to continue the momentum from a collective and impressive performance Wednesday in a win against Indiana State, the ETSU women’s basketball team will welcome familiar foe Chattanooga to the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 1:30 p.m.
In a 75-67 win versus Indiana State Wednesday evening, the Buccaneers (3-6) featured a balanced scoring attack in which each of the five starters reached double-figures. ETSU was led by a career-high 18 points from Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.), and dominated the Sycamores in the paint with 36 points. The Blue and Gold also shot a stellar 49 percent from the field and knocked down 15-of-18 free throws. Despite turning the ball over 23 times, the Bucs began to impose their will on ISU down the stretch and came away with a victory for the first time in the month of December.
The matchup with the Chattanooga Mocs (9-3) will be the 74th all-time meeting between the two teams; a series that UTC leads 52-21. The Mocs currently own a two-game winning streak versus the Bucs after besting ETSU, 81-48, last season in Chattanooga.
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.
LAST TIME VS. CHATTANOOGA
On Nov. 17, 2012, the ETSU Bucs struggled from the jump against an impressive Mocs squad. UTC scored 21 of the game’s first 27 points and took control of the contest early. After shooting a poor 27 percent in the first half, the Blue and Gold went into halftime facing a 22-point deficit. In the second period, the Mocs continued their hot shooting from deep (11-of-22 for the game) and increased their lead to as many as 35 points. ETSU simply could not get anything going on either end of the court and ultimately suffered an 81-48 defeat at the hands of a later NCAA Tournament team.
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 seven of the nine 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 including a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 82-65 win against Alabama A&M (11/29). The junior’s most recent double-double came at Vanderbilt (12/3) where she posted 13 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds. Clark has now exceeded her double-double total from last season just nine games into the 2013-14 campaign with five this season and is poised for more throughout the year. The forward’s 11.6 points per game currently ranks among the top-20 in the A-Sun, while her 11.6 boards per game ranks second in the league.
Junior guard Cara Bowling is currently averaging a team-leading 12.3 points per game for the Bucs to begin the 2013-14 season. Presently, this point total per game is 14th in the A-Sun while her 2.1 three-point field goal makes per game stands 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 nine 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 eight games this season and is currently averaging 10.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Bond posted a season-high 18 points in a 75-67 win versus Indiana State (12/18) and remains a vital piece in ETSU’s paint production going forward.
To begin the 2013-14 season, the Bucs are averaging 30 points in the paint through nine games including 36 in the season opener at Memphis (11/8). ETSU also registered 36 points in the paint in the home opener vs. Morehead State (11/21) as well as in home dates vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/24) and Indiana State (12/18). 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 nine games to start the 2013-14 season, ETSU is currently averaging 71.4 points per game which is second in the A-Sun. With the 71.4 points per game also come successes in field goal percentage, where the Bucs are second in the league at 43 percent, and in three-point field percentage, where ETSU is tops in the conference at 34 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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