Bucs hope to continue winning ways at home where they have not lost since Nov. 19, 2014
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 30, 2015) – Winner of its last five games, the ETSU women’s basketball team will look to keep the streak going when it begins a two-game homestand on Saturday with a matchup against Samford at 2 p.m. inside Brooks Gym.
Currently in second place in the Southern Conference standings at a perfect 5-0, the Bucs' next two games will pit them against two of the best teams in the league. Samford currently sits in third place with a 4-1 conference record, and a matchup against nationally-ranked and league front-runner Chattanooga looms on Monday afternoon. This two-game stretch may have some early implications in the race to the SoCon regular season title.
ETSU (13-7, 5-0 SoCon) and Samford (11-9, 4-1 SoCon) will square off on Saturday in only the second all-time meeting between the two teams. The squads’ lone matchup came on Nov. 17, 2007 in the preseason WNIT when the Bulldogs bested the Bucs, 91-72, inside the Pete Hanna Center on SU’s campus in Homewood, Alabama.
The Blue & Gold enters the contest on the heels of a big, conference road win at Mercer on Monday. In Macon, Georgia, the Bucs jumped out to an 18-8 advantage over the first six minutes of the game and held onto the lead throughout the opening period to take a 29-25 edge into halftime. ETSU began the second half much like the first and increased its advantage to 39-31 three minutes in. The home team did not go away lightly, though, and staged a furious comeback. Over the final 5:15 of the contest, Mercer outscored ETSU, 15-8, and appeared to have the momentum going into the final possessions of the game. A Bears’ basket with 40 seconds left in the contest brought the score to 72-70, and after an empty ETSU offensive possession, a last-seconds defensive stand allowed the Bucs to hold off Mercer’s rally and come away with a 72-70 victory. In the win, ETSU was led by 20 points – including a career-high six three-pointers – from sophomore guard Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.). The Blue & Gold also got a second-consecutive double-double from senior forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulldogs are coming off of a 49-32 loss at No. 25 Chattanooga on Monday. In the defeat, Samford was led by junior forward Taylor Reece with 10 points and five rebounds. Sophomore guard Hannah Nichols scored six points, while fellow sophomore guard Brittany Stevens added five points. For the season, Nichols leads Samford in scoring with 13.3 points per game. Reece averages 11.0 points per game, while freshman forward Destiney Elliott scores 9.1 points per game for the Bulldogs. Elliott is the team leader in rebounding, grabbing 6.2 boards per contest. Junior guard Krista Stricklin averages 4.6 rebounds per game while Stevens leads the team in assists per game, dishing out 3.1 per contest.
For the season, ETSU leads the SoCon in scoring at 73.1 points per game, but Samford is only giving up a second best in the league 57.0 points per contest. Both teams shoot the ball at impressive clip with each among the top three in the conference with the Bucs shooting a league-best 45 percent while the Bulldogs are third with 43 percent shooting. The Blue & Gold continues to limit its opponents from beyond the three-point arc at 26 percent, while SU allows foes to only shoot a SoCon-leading 37 percent from the floor.
ETSU’s balance on the offensive end continues with four of its five starters averaging in double figures. The Bucs are led by underclassmen guards Bridges (13.8 ppg) and Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) (12.8 ppg, 4.0 apg). A pair of fifth-year senior forwards, Mitchell (11.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) (10.2 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, 4.0 rpg).
For more information on ETSU women’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s hoops link. Tickets can be purchased here. Follow along with the Bucs on social media with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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