Bucs look to improve to 5-0 in SoCon play against a familiar opponent
MACON, Ga. (Jan. 25, 2015) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will aim to continue its 4-0 winning streak to begin Southern Conference play when it goes on the road to face the Mercer Bears on Monday evening at 7 p.m. inside Hawkins Arena.
Joined together in the Atlantic Sun Conference for the past 10 years and now both members of the SoCon, ETSU (12-7, 4-0 SoCon) and Mercer (11-9, 3-1 SoCon) are familiar foes. The Bucs lead the all-time series, 14-13, but have lost the last four meetings. The two teams most recently met last season when the Blue & Gold suffered an 80-50 defeat in on Feb. 22, 2014 in Macon.
On Saturday, ETSU rolled to its fourth win in a row with a convincing 69-47 triumph against the Wofford Terriers inside Brooks Gym. After a slow start for both squads, the Bucs began to take control of the game midway through the opening period and took a 36-22 lead into halftime. Wofford stormed out of the break with a 10-2 run over the first four minutes of the second period. The Blue & Gold then responded with a 7-2 rally to get back in the driver’s seat with a 47-34 lead with 14 minutes left to play. Over the duration of the contest, ETSU continued to limit the Terriers from the field and capitalize on their turnovers en route to a 69-47 victory. In the win, senior forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) notched her fourth double-double of the season and 30th of her career with 16 points and 14 rebounds while sophomore guard Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) scored a game-best 17 points.
Mercer will enter Monday’s matchup on the heels of a 58-55 home loss to Furman. In the defeat, the Bears had three double-digit scorers, highlighted by a career-high and game-best 21 points from freshman guard Kahlia Lawrence. In addition, senior guard and the league’s leading scorer, Precious Bridges, pitched in 11 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The Bucs and Bears both feature high-octane offenses with ETSU leading the SoCon with 73.1 points per game while Mercer is third-best with 65.5 per. In addition, MU is tops in the conference at the free throw line with a 72 percent shooting percentage and holds a SoCon-high +4.5 rebound margin. ETSU continues to knock down shots at a league-best 45 percent and also continues to limit opponents from three-point range; holding them to a conference-best 26 percent shooting. The Blue & Gold is also second in the SoCon with 4.0 blocked shots per game.
The Blue & Gold features one of the league’s most balanced attacks with four of its five starters averaging in double figures; led by underclassmen guards Bridges (13.5 ppg) and freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) (12.9 ppg, 4.0 apg). A pair of fifth-year senior forwards, Mitchell (11.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) (10.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg) round out the double-figure scorers for the Bucs who are also getting solid play from fellow senior forward Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) (9.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg).
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