Fans encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness and support for women’s cancer research.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2015) – In the first game of an ETSU women’s and men’s basketball doubleheader inside Freedom Hall on Saturday, the Buccaneer women will take on the Western Carolina Catamounts at 1 p.m. in the annual Play 4Kay game to raise awareness and support for women’s cancer research.
Tickets can be purchased online here. Fans can also donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund by visiting ETSU women’s basketball’s Play 4Kay team page here. At the game, educational pieces regarding women’s cancer research will be available in the concourses at Freedom Hall and prizes will be given away courtesy of Bowman Jewelers. Fans are encouraged to wear pink. In addition, the game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
On the court, the Bucs (16-8, 8-1 SoCon) aim to defeat the Catamounts (9-15, 1-8) for the second time in a week. The two teams met this past Saturday, Feb. 7, inside the Ramsey Center in Cullowhee, North Carolina where the Blue & Gold topped WCU, 63-60. In the victory, ETSU took a 10-point first-half lead but had the home team rally to bring the score to 31-28 at halftime. The second half was tightly-contested with both teams going back and forth. Down the stretch, the Bucs grinded their way to a 63-60 victory behind a team-best 20 points from sophomore guard Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.). This triumph increased ETSU’s all-time series advantage over WCU to 43-22 and snapped a three-game losing skid to the Catamounts.
ETSU will enter Saturday’s contest following a 72-61 home victory over the Furman Paladins on Feb. 9. In the win, the two teams played to a tightly-contested, 32-31, ETSU advantage at halftime. In the second half, the Bucs built up a game-high 12-point lead with six minutes left in the game. The Paladins responded, though, with a flurry to bring the score to 61-56 with four minutes left. A subsequent three-pointer from freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) helped thwart the Furman rally as the Bucs stayed in control over the duration; dealing the visitors a 72-61 decision. ETSU featured four double-digit scorers including a game-high tying 19 points from Tarter. Joining Tarter in double-figures was Bridges with 13, and senior forwards Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) and Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) with 12 and 10, respectively.
Western Carolina comes into tomorrow’s game losers of four straight including, most recently, an 82-60 road setback to the Mercer Bears on Feb. 9. In the loss, the Catamounts were held scoreless the first seven minutes of the game and trailed at halftime, 39-25. Much of the same occurred in the second half as Mercer put WCU away over the duration of the period. The Catamounts were led by 16 points from senior guard Justin Taylor and 14 from junior guard Lindsay Simpson. For the season, Western Carolina is paced by 17.3 points per game from Taylor which is second-best in the SoCon.
Entering play, ETSU sports the league’s highest scoring offense with 70.8 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 27 percent shooting, and also block four shots a game. ETSU also dishes out a fourth-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 Bridges (13.4 ppg) and Tarter (12.7 ppg, 4.0 apg). A pair of fifth-year senior forwards, Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) (10.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg) and Clark (10.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg) round out the double-figure scorers for the Bucs who are also getting solid play from fellow senior forward Bond (9.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg). In SoCon play, Bridges and Tarter are leading the way with 12.8 and 12.6 points per game, respectively.
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To learn more about the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the Play 4Kay initiative, please click here.