ETSU looks to make it three in a row this season versus WCU
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 4, 2015) – The No. 2 seed ETSU women’s basketball team will begin postseason play with a matchup against the No. 7 seed Western Carolina Catamounts on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship inside Kimmel Arena.
The winner of the contest will move on to the Championship semifinals to face the winner of Thursday’s No. 3 Mercer and No. 6 Wofford tilt which is set to tip-off at 6:45 p.m. Visit SoConSports.com for more information about the 2015 SoCon Women’s Basketball Championship.
To this point, the Bucs (19-10, 11-3 SoCon) have swept the season series versus the Catamounts (11-18, 3-11 SoCon) with a pair of victories in the month of February. On Feb. 7, ETSU topped WCU, 63-60, in Cullowhee, North Carolina and later, on Feb. 14, again bested Western Carolina, 51-40, in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Blue & Gold currently leads the season series, 44-22.
Last time out
The ETSU women’s basketball team dropped a 64-42 decision to the No. 18 Chattanooga Mocs on Feb. 28 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Bucs quickly fell behind as the Mocs scored the first 15 points of the contest. UTC capitalized on ETSU’s turnovers and poor shooting to take a 31-13 lead into halftime. ETSU whittled its deficit down to 14 with 5:43 left in the game, but a subsequent Moc rally put the game away. The Bucs had three players in double-figures, led by 13 points from senior forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.). Joining Mitchell, sophomore guard Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) chipped in 12 points while senior forward Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) added 11.
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 (13.1 ppg) and Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) (12.1 ppg, 3.9 apg). Senior forwards Mitchell (11.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) (10.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg) round out the double-figure scorers for the Bucs who are also getting solid play from fellow veteran forward Bond (8.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg). In SoCon play, Bridges and Tarter are leading the way with 12.4 and 11.4 points per game, respectively.
Western Carolina at a glance
The Catamounts are riding a two-game winning streak including, most recently, an 86-80 victory over the UNCG Spartans in Greensboro, North Carolina on Feb. 27. For the season, the Catamounts are paced by Second-Team All-Conference honoree Jordan Taylor who averages 16.4 points per game. Freshman Ace Easter is also nearing a double-figure average with 9.8 points a contest.
Inside the numbers
The Blue & Gold features the SoCon’s top offense with 68.7 points per game, while Western Carolina averages 62.1 a contest. The Bucs shoot the ball from the field at a league-high 45 percent, while the Catamounts are the conference leaders in free-throw percentage per contest at 75 percent. ETSU also holds a +1.8 rebound margin and dishes out 12.4 assists a game, while WCU only distributes 9.6 assists per game.
Four Bucs earn SoCon postseason awards
Senior forward Serena Clark was named Second-Team All-Conference by both the SoCon head coaches and media, while senior forward Destiny Mitchell was picked by the coaches as a Second Team honoree and sophomore guard Shamauria Bridges a member of the Second Team tabbed by the media. In addition, freshman point guard Tianna Tarter was selected to the All-Freshmen Team by both the league coaches and media.
Pursuit of 20 Wins
The Bucs are one win away from their 20th win of the season. The next victory will mark the first time ETSU has reached 20 wins since the 2009-10 season in which it compiled a 23-9 overall record.
Ezell Eyes 150th Victory
Head coach Brittney Ezell is two wins away from 150 for her career as a head coach. Ezell’s record currently stands at 148-144 overall including 28-31 in almost two seasons at the helm in Johnson City.
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