ETSU looks to stay perfect on the road in SoCon play
CULLOWHEE, N.C. (Feb. 6, 2015) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will look to remain perfect on the road in Southern Conference play when it squares off against the Western Carolina Catamounts on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. inside the Ramsey Center.
Saturday’s matchup will be the 65th all-time meeting between the two teams; a series that ETSU (14-8, 6-1 SoCon) leads, 42-22. Western Carolina (9-13, 1-6 SoCon) has come away victorious in the last three meetings, though, including a 58-56 victory last season on Dec. 1 in Cullowhee. In the setback, guard Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) scored a team-leading 10 points while forward Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) grabbed a game-best 10 rebounds.
The Bucs will aim to continue their progression after a closely-contested, 64-56, loss to No. 23 Chattanooga on Monday afternoon in front of a near-capacity Brooks Gym crowd. The two squads battled back and forth in the first half with neither team pulling ahead by more than four points during the period. As a result, the halftime score was brought to 27-25 in favor of Chattanooga. The early portion of the second period was tightly-challenged as well before the Mocs went on an 11-4 run to take a 44-37 advantage with 10:37 remaining. ETSU then responded with a surge to pull within two with 3:20 to go. UTC answered with a burst to take a nine-point lead with 1:13 left which essentially put the game away. Leading the way for the Bucs was senior forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) who recorded her sixth double-double of the season and 32nd of her career with 18 points and a game-best 15 rebounds.
WCU enters Saturday’s contest losers of two straight including, most recently, a 59-49 defeat to Wofford in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Feb. 2. The Catamounts were led by 16 points from guard Justin Taylor in the loss. For the season, WCU is paced by 17.1 points per game from Taylor including 15.6 points per contest in league action. As a team, the Catamounts shoot a conference-best 73 percent from the free throw line and averages 63 points per game. WCU also surrenders an average of 64 points per to its opponents.
Entering play, ETSU sports the league’s highest scoring offense with 71.1 points a contest and shoots the ball from the field at a 45 percent clip which is also best in the SoCon. The Bucs continue to blanket their foes from beyond the three-point arc, only allowing 26 percent shooting, and also block four shots a game. ETSU also dishes out a third-best in the conference 13 assists a game.
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 Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) (13.1 ppg) and Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) (12.6 ppg, 3.9 apg). A pair of fifth-year senior forwards, Mitchell (11.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Clark (10.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg) round out the double-figure scorers for the Bucs who are also getting solid play from fellow senior forward Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) (9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg). In SoCon play, Tarter and Mitchell are leading the way with both averaging 12.3 points per game.
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