Bucs nearly equal team record with 14 made three-pointers
MOREHEAD, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2014) – The ETSU women’s basketball team has now strung together four-consecutive wins for the first time since Jan. 29, 2011 with an 86-77 road victory against the Morehead State Eagles on Monday afternoon inside Johnson Arena.
With the win, ETSU improves to 7-4 on the season -- and are undefeated in the month of December -- while Morehead State drops to 4-6 on the year.
In front of an energized crowd featuring over a thousand kids from local elementary schools on Education Day, both teams matched the enthusiasm by starting the game with high-octane, fast-paced action. Baskets were traded through the first three minutes including junior guard Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.) scoring ETSU’s first seven points. Back-and-forth competition continued throughout the first half of the opening period before Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) got going on the offensive end. Between the nine and seven minute marks, the freshman point guard splashed home three three-pointers to put the Bucs ahead 35-28. An MSU lay-in from Almesha Jones narrowed the gap to 40-34 with four minutes to go in the opening period before ETSU went on an 8-0 run over the next four minutes to pull ahead by a first-half high 14 points, 48-34. A couple late conversions from the Eagles on the offensive end brought the score to 48-39 going into halftime.
Not to be outdone by her backcourt mates, Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) began to really impact the game in the second half on the offensive end. The sophomore guard scored eight points in the first nine minutes of the period to help thwart -- along with the help of her teammates -- Morehead rallying attempts. Christopher again got involved with the team’s hot shooting behind the arc with a pair of triples between the nine and six minute marks. Over the next four minutes, the Eagles did not get closer than 12 points until MSU’s Maiki Viela nailed a three-pointer seconds before the final buzzer to bring the final score to 86-77.
In total, Christopher scored a career-high 20 points and was joined in double-figures by three of her teammates. Bridges added 19 points – 11 of which in the second half – and splashed home a career-high tying five three-pointers. Freshman Tarter posted 17 points including season-bests of four made trifectas and seven assists, while Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) tallied a near double-double of 13 points and nine rebounds. For Morehead, four players were also in double-figures with senior guard Almesha Jones leading the way with a game-high 24 points.
As a team, the Bucs knocked down 14 three-pointers; just one shy of tying an ETSU women’s basketball record. The Blue & Gold shot the ball from the field a bit better than its 45 percent season average at 49 percent and rained down a season-best 54 percent (14-of-26) from behind the arc. The Bucs also notched a season-high 24 assists on 32 made field goals and turned 12 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points.
The Eagles shot it at a better clip than ETSU at 51 percent, but lacked in made field goals and attempts (27-of-53). MSU was not as efficient as its opponent from three-point range at 47 percent (8-of-17), but did get the free throw line more frequently and converted at a proficient rate (15-of-20). In addition, Morehead held an advantage in the paint, 34-28, and converted 16 Buccaneer miscues into 19 points.
The Bucs will begin action in the 2014 UNCW Seahawks Hampton Inn Christmas Invitational with a matchup against host UNC Wilmington on Friday, Dec. 19, at 11:30 a.m. inside Trask Coliseum.
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