Three-point play from Bridges with 18 seconds to go allows Bucs to complete comeback
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 8, 2014) – In its exhibition finale, the ETSU women’s basketball team overcame a 30-point second-half deficit to come away with a 73-71 victory over King on Saturday evening inside Brooks Gym.
After clawing back from a sizeable disadvantage, a Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) steal off of full-court pressure led to a lay-in by Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) with 18 seconds remaining to give the Bucs its first lead, 72-71, in 39 minutes of play. A subsequent free throw from Bridges to complete the three-point play made the score 73-71 and a following last-seconds defensive stand allowed the Bucs to come away victorious.
ETSU put the first points of the game on the board, but would not hold a lead again until the waning moments of the contest. The visitors from Bristol, Tennessee got it going early on the offensive end while the Blue & Gold struggled from the field. A free throw from King’s Whitney Mitchell with 7:40 left to play in the first half gave the Tornado its first double-digit advantage, 26-16. Four made three-pointers over the final four minutes of the period allowed King to go into the locker room with a 49-23 halftime lead.
King picked up where it left off to begin the second half, increasing its lead to 30 points with 16:23 to go. Facing a large deficit, ETSU showed some fight and methodically chipped away at King’s lead. A new-found flow on offense and staunch defense against the previously hot-shooting Tornado allowed the Bucs to get back into the game midway through the second period. A three-pointer from freshman Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) with 7:50 to go reduced the Blue & Gold’s deficit to nine points, 64-55. Full-court pressure defense over the final seven minutes allowed ETSU to capitalize on some King turnovers as the Bucs mounted the comeback. As the Tornado failed to convert from the field over the final two minutes, the Blue & Gold turned up the pressure and made key plays down the stretch to seal the victory.
Late-game hero Bridges led the way on the offensive end for ETSU with 15 points. The Bucs also had two players with double-doubles on the night with junior Shomari Kendrick (Lexington, Ky.) recording 14 points and 15 rebounds while senior Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) posted 14 points and 13 rebounds. King featured three players in double-figures with former ETSU Buccaneer Chelsea Bowling recording a game-high 22 points.
After shooting a poor 28 percent in the first half, ETSU found some consistency on the offensive end in the second half with 54 percent shooting. The Bucs held a 54-38 rebound advantage and dominated in the paint, 46-22. The Blue & Gold also turned 18 King miscues into 21 points off turnovers and got a big lift off of the bench with 30 points.
In the second half, King only converted on seven of its 30 attempts from the field and succumbed to ETSU’s pressure with 11 turnovers in the period. The Tornado did assist on 14 of its 23 makes from the field over the course of the game and shot a fairly-efficient 67 percent from the free-throw line.
The Bucs will begin the regular season on Friday, Nov. 14, when they travel to Asheville, North Carolina to take on the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at 7 p.m. inside Kimmel Arena.
ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!