JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 17, 2015) – The ETSU women’s basketball team opened the second half on a 38-7 run to overcome a 14-point first-half deficit and the Bucs cruised to an 87-65 win over UNC Greensboro on Saturday afternoon inside Brooks Gym.
Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) led four Buccaneers in double-figures by tying a career high with 23 points, while Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) and Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.) all pitched in with 13 points each. Clark notched her fifth double-double of the season (18th career) by pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds. Christopher also added six assists and four boards.
ETSU, who went 21-of-28 from the field in the final 20 minutes, shot a season-high 59-percent (32-54) and dished out 23 assists. The Blue and Gold used speed and athleticism to their advantage by outscoring the Spartans, 29-12, in fast-break points.
With the win, the Bucs remained perfect in conference play and improved to 11-7, 3-0, while UNCG dipped to 5-13, 0-3. ETSU is off to its best conference start since 2012.
Playing its first home game in 2015, ETSU slept-walked through the first half as the Spartans led wire-to-wire in the opening 20 minutes and went ahead 27-13 when Lucy Mason found Shanese Harris for a lay-up with eight minutes left before the break. The Bucs were only able to chip their deficit to six, 29-23, with 5:35 remaining and UNCG held an eight-point lead at intermission, 40-32.
However, after turning the ball over 15 times and being out-rebounded by seven (25-18) in the first half, ETSU cut down on its mistakes and dictated the tempo in the second half. The Bucs committed 10 turnovers in the final 20 minutes and out-rebounded UNCG, 22-17.
The Blue and Gold wasted little time erasing UNCG’s eight-point advantage as ETSU scored the first 11 points of the second half and led for good when Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) converted a three-point-play, putting the Bucs ahead, 43-40, with 15:53 remaining in the contest.
ETSU continued to pile it on over the next nine minutes, seventeen seconds as a three-pointer by Bridges capped off the monumental 38-7 surge and the Bucs led, 70-47, with 6:36 remaining in the contest. In total, seven different players scored during the blitzkrieg, while Bridges ignited the run by netting 17 points over that span.
The Bucs eventually led by as many as 26 and cruised to the 22-point conference victory.
UNCG shot 41.5 percent (17-41) in the first half, but the Bucs’ stifling defense held the Spartans to a 24-percent clip (9-38) in the final stanza.
All 11 players that saw action reached the scoring column for the Blue and Gold, while a pair of UNCG players registered double-doubles in the setback. Mason ended with 20 points and 10 rebounds and Jarae Savage tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds.
ETSU returns to action next Saturday, Jan. 24, when the Bucs host Wofford. Tip is set for 2 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
For more information on Buccaneer women’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com.