ETSU holds St. Francis to a season-low point total
LORETTO, Pa. (Nov. 21, 2014) –Behind five players in double-figures -- including a team-high 20 points from Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) -- the ETSU women’s basketball team raced past the St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash, 79-63, on Friday evening inside DeGol Arena.
With the win, ETSU improves to 3-1 on the young season while St. Francis drops to 0-3
Playing against a team that is known for its up and down pace, the Bucs flipped the script and sped St. Francis up in the first half. The Blue & Gold got out on the fast break for 11 points in the period and also did some damage in the paint with 18 points as well as six second-chance points off of six offensive rebounds. In addition, stellar defense on the offensively-potent team kept them in check while ETSU tried to take control of the game. A Bridges triple with 4:22 left in the half upped the Bucs’ advantage to a period-high 12 points, 29-17. Over the duration of the half, the Blue & Gold was able to contain SFU’s advances and went into the break with a 34-26 lead.
The home team came out energized out of halftime, scoring the opening basket of the period to begin a flurry that closed the gap to 34-30. ETSU responded with an 8-0 run to pull ahead 34-20 just a couple of minutes into the half. The Bucs stayed in control over the next four minutes before the Red Flash put an 11-2 run together to pull within four, 52-48, with 10 minutes remaining. Again, ETSU had an answer; this time a 16-6 surge to firmly take hold of the game. Over the final five minutes of play, the Blue & Gold held St. Francis at bay, resulting in a 79-63 victory.
In addition to Bridges’ team-high scoring performance, four other Bucs hit double-digits including Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) with 16, Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) with 14, as well as Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.) each with 10. In addition, Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) grabbed a game and season-high 19 rebounds while Clark corralled 10 boards to notch her second double-double in as many games. For SFU, three players were in double-figures, led by Alexa Hayward with a game-best 22 points.
ETSU did not shoot it well from the field at 39 percent, but did knock down eight threes – including five by Bridges – as well as hit 13-of-18 free throws in the second half. The Blue & Gold also dominated on the boards, 62-48, and turned 19 offensive rebounds into 23 second-chance points. The Bucs’ defense also played a pivotal role in holding the Red Flash well under their 89 points per game average.
SFU struggled from the field at 32 percent and only made three triples out of 25 tries. The free throw line was also problematic for the Red Flash with only 12-of-23 makes. Saint Francis did convert 16 ETSU turnovers into 12 points and got 14 points from its bench.
The Bucs will continue the road swing with a trip to Terre Haute, Ind. to take on Indiana State on Monday, Nov. 24, at 8 p.m.
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