ETSU surpasses last season’s win total, moves to 2-0 to begin SoCon play
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 12, 2015) – Facing a league opponent who had lost six of its last seven and were picked to finish seventh in the Southern Conference in the preseason, the ETSU women’s basketball team took care of business on Monday afternoon with a dominant 79-47 victory over the Wofford Terriers inside Johnson Arena.
With the win, ETSU improves to 10-7 overall and moves to 2-0 in SoCon play while Wofford drops to 4-12 overall and 0-2 in league action.
In both teams’ second SoCon contest of the year, play was fast paced to start the game. The two squads traded baskets throughout the opening five minutes before the Bucs went on a 16-4 run over the next seven-and-a-half minutes to take a 28-14 advantage with 7:21 to go in the period. Efficient offense over the course of the half – including 54 percent shooting from the field -- allowed the Blue & Gold to maintain a sizable advantage and if not for Wofford capitalizing on ETSU turnovers, the gap between the two teams would have surely been wider. Over the final four minutes of the first half, the Bucs went on a 12-4 run – capped by a pair of senior forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) free throws – to take a 44-24 lead into halftime.
Armed with a big lead, the Blue & Gold kept the pedal to the metal in the second half. Over the first 10 minutes of the period, ETSU manufactured a 16-7 burst including holding the Terriers scoreless for nearly four minutes. The Bucs were able to continue their pressure on the Wofford offense, forcing 11 turnovers in the half as well as again firing from the field at an efficient rate with 48 percent shooting. A pair of free throws from senior forward Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) with 2:44 left to play brought the ETSU advantage to a game and season-high 38 points, 78-40. With Buccaneer reserves playing the final four minutes of the game, the final score was brought to 79-47. This convincing triumph is the Bucs’ largest margin of victory this season and most in a conference game in two seasons.
Freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) scored a game-high 18 points and also tied a season best with six steals and grabbed five rebounds. Tarter was joined in double figures by Mitchell with a near double-double of 14 points and nine boards, Bond, too, with 14, and junior guard Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.) with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. For Wofford, the Terriers were paced offensively by Kentra Washington with 12 points and also got 11 from Ashton Fleming.
The Blue & Gold turned in one of its better shooting days of the season with 51 percent shooting from the field and an efficient 21-of-26 from the free throw line. ETSU dominated on the boards, 41-26, and held a 42-20 advantage in the paint. Additionally, the Bucs scored 23 points off of 25 Wofford turnovers and got out on the fast break for 17 points.
Meanwhile, the Terriers shot the ball at a sub-par 33 percent clip from the floor and were held to 3-of-17 makes from beyond the three-point arc. Wofford did get 21 points from its bench and converted eight offensive rebounds into eight second-chance points. In addition, the home team knocked down 8-of-11 from the charity stripe.
The Bucs will play their first home conference game of the season on Saturday, Jan. 17, when they take on the UNC Greensboro Spartans at 2 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
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