Bucs feature five players in double-figures, led by Tarter with game-high 21
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 14, 2014) – Freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) added a game-high 21 points in her regular season collegiate debut as the ETSU women’s basketball team bested the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 81-68, on Friday evening inside Kimmel Arena.
With the win, ETSU moves to 1-0 to begin the season while UNCA drops to 0-1.
Fresh off of two exhibition wins, the Bucs got off to a hot start in their kickoff to the regular season. The Blue & Gold built up an 11-6 advantage after Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) splashed home a three with 15:30 to go in the first half. The Bulldogs then battled back to tie the game at 13 with 13 minutes to go. This surge continued as UNCA went on an 11-5 run to take a six-point lead with 9:30 left to play in the period The duo of Tarter and Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) answered back to put the Bucs ahead 24-23 over the next minute. The two teams went back and forth over the next few minutes before the Blue & Gold pulled ahead by four after a Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.) jumper with 1:26 to play. The Bulldogs then fired back with a pair of jumpers in the final minute to send the two teams to the break deadlocked at 38.
The two squads traded baskets to start the second half, but a 12-0 run by ETSU over the next five minutes allowed it build up a solid advantage with 13 minutes to go. Shooting at a more-efficient clip and limiting UNCA’s offensive attack allowed the Bucs to build a game-high 15 point lead, 64-49, with nine minutes left to play. Over the next five minutes, though, the home team refused to go away and chipped its deficit down to six points with 3:18 remaining. With time winding down and UNCA’s defense playing more aggressive, ETSU was able to get to the free-throw line and convert at a consistent rate over the final few minutes. The second-half offensive explosion, coupled with sound defense, allowed the Blue & Gold to come away with an 81-68 victory.
In addition to Tarter’s game-high in points, the Science Hill High School product added six rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes. Included in the Bucs’ five double-digit scoring efforts was redshirt senior Mitchell joining the ETSU 1,000-point club with 16 points after entering the game needing seven to reach the plateau. The redshirt senior is now the 21st member of said club. Bridges, Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) and Christopher, too, reached double-figures with 15, 14 and 10, respectively. The Bulldogs had two players in double-digits and were led by Tianna Knuckles’ 19 points.
The Blue & Gold shot a pretty-efficient 52 percent from the field and were impressive from behind the arc with seven makes. ETSU also assisted on 16 of their 27 made field goals and converted 14 UNCA turnovers into 17 points. Additionally, the Bucs remained strong in the paint with 36 points.
The Bulldogs shot the ball at a 38 percent clip and only converted on 3-of-13 tries from long range. UNCA did get a huge contribution from its bench with 35 points and knocked down 21-of-28 free throws (75 percent).
The Bucs will welcome High Point to Brooks Gym on Monday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in their regular season home opener.
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