ETSU features four players in double-figures, led by Clark’s 17
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 1, 2014) – In front of a large Homecoming crowd on Saturday afternoon inside newly-renovated Brooks Gym, the ETSU women’s basketball team kicked off the 2014-15 season with an 84-53 exhibition victory over Milligan College behind balanced scoring and a strong second-half effort.
Included in this balanced scoring attack were four Buccaneers scoring 12 points or more, led by Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) with a team and game-high tying 17 points.
In its first live-game action of the season, the Blue & Gold made it a point of emphasis to attack the Buffaloes in the paint. The Bucs got early contributions in the painted area from redshirt senior Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) who played in her first game since November of last year when she suffered a season-ending knee injury. Milligan countered with some production from the perimeter to battle neck-and-neck with ETSU for much of the first half. Over the final seven minutes of the opening period, the Bucs put a streak together to gain a quality advantage. A lay-in by Adriane Vaughan (Midlothian, Va.) with just over a minute left pushed ETSU’s advantage to nine before the Buffs answered with a three-pointer. A late bucket by Clark sent the Blue & Gold into halftime with a 36-28 advantage.
Rejuvenated out of the break, the Bucs took it to Milligan early in the second half. A Clark jumper with 17 minutes to go pushed ETSU’s advantage to a then-game-high 11 points, 47-36. Throughout the second period, freshman guard and local product Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) let her presence be known in her first collegiate game. Impacting the game in a variety of ways, in sequence, Tarter buried a three-pointer and went coast-to-coast for a lay-in to increase ETSU’s lead to 17, 60-43, with 12 minutes left to play. The Blue & Gold continued to pour it on over the duration of the half, getting 11 players in the scoring column over the course of the game. A late lay-in from newcomer Shomari Kendrick (Lexington, Ky.) allowed the Bucs to come away with an 84-53 victory.
Joining Clark in double-figures was Tarter with 16 points, Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) with 13 and Kendrick with 12. Tarter and Kendrick also shared the team lead in rebounds with eight apiece. The Buffaloes got a game-high tying 17 points from Hayley Wyrick and also got double-figure scoring performances from Kelly Barnett with 11 and Chelsey Weddle with 10.
ETSU dominated nearly every major statistical category including having their way in the paint, 60-8, scoring 26 points off of 20 Milligan turnovers and getting 38 points from its bench. The Bucs also shot 51 percent from the field and got out on the break for 22 points.
Meanwhile, the Buffaloes shot 31 percent from the floor and 33 percent from behind the arc. Milligan did assist on 11 of its 15 made field goals and converted on 13 of its 18 attempts from the free throw line.
The Blue & Gold will play its second – and final – exhibition contest of the season on Saturday, Nov. 8, against King University at 7 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
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