ETSU will honor its four seniors prior to its final home game of the season
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 20, 2015) – The ETSU women’s basketball team will close out home play this season when it welcomes the Mercer Bears to Brooks Gym on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off. Prior to the contest, the Buccaneers will honor a group of four seniors who will play their final career ETSU home game.
Seniors at a glance
ETSU’s four seniors – forwards Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.), Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.), and guard Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) – have each enjoyed successful careers donning the Blue & Gold. As a group, they have been a part of 35 wins at ETSU, including, most recently, being driving forces in the Bucs’ current bounce-back season of an 18-8 overall record and 10-1 Southern Conference mark. Notably among the group is Mitchell who has etched her name as one of ETSU’s all-time greats with 1,277 career points which places her ninth overall on the all-time scoring list.
The streaking Bucs will look to win their fifth game in a row and sweep the season series against Mercer. In the most recent meeting earlier this season, the Blue & Gold dealt MU a 72-70 decision inside Hawkins Arena in Macon, Georgia to bring the all-time series to 15-13 in ETSU’s favor. The win also snapped a four-game losing streak to the Bears. In the victory, ETSU fended off a late Mercer rally and was led for the game by 20 points from sophomore guard Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.).
Last time out
The Bucs will look to keep the late-season momentum going after downing the UNCG Spartans, 84-66, on Monday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Behind a dominant 59 points in the paint and a pair of 20-point scorers, ETSU imposed its will on the Spartans. A 26-7 run over the final 10 minutes of the first half put the Blue & Gold firmly in control of the game as it went into halftime with a 49-24 advantage. After a quick second-period flurry from UNCG, the Bucs responded to put the game away over the duration of the contest. Mitchell powered her way to an impressive double-double featuring season-highs of 20 points and 19 rebounds, while freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.), too, scored 20 points – on 9-of-14 shooting – as well as added four assists and four steals.
Mercer at a glance
Mercer (16-11, 8-3 SoCon) enters play on Saturday on the heels of a 63-51 road victory at Wofford on Monday evening. MU was led by a game and career-high 26 points from freshman guard Kahlia Lawrence. For the season, the Bears are paced by senior guard Precious Bridges with a SoCon-leading 20.5 points per game and are also getting 13.3 and 11.1 points a contest from Lawrence and senior forward Alicia Williams, respectively.
Inside the numbers
Both teams feature top-three offenses in the league with the Blue & Gold leading the way with 70.6 points per game, while MU averages a third-best 67.6 point per. Mercer only allows 63.9 points a game, while the Bucs surrender 65.5 a contest. Each squad also shoots the ball above 40 percent from the field for the season and sports a rebound margin higher than plus-2.0 per game. In addition, both teams get it done on the defensive end with approximately four blocked shots and seven steals a game apiece.
Bucs at a glance
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 (13.6 ppg) and Tarter (12.7 ppg, 4.0 apg). Senior forwards Mitchell (10.9 ppg, 9.5 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 veteran forward Bond (9.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg). In SoCon play, Bridges and Tarter are leading the way with 13.4 and 12.5 points per game, respectively.
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