ETSU aims to sweep season series against Mercer Bears to advance to Championship final
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 5, 2015) – The No. 2 seed ETSU women’s basketball team will match up with the No. 3 seed Mercer Bears on Friday at 1:30 p.m. inside the U.S. Cellular Center in the semifinals of the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.
The winner of the contest will move on to Sunday’s Championship final to face the winner of No. 1 seed Chattanooga and No. 5 seed Furman’s matchup which is set for an 11 a.m. tip-off on Friday. Visit SoConSports.com for more information about the 2015 SoCon Women’s Basketball Championship.
To this point, the Bucs (20-10, 11-3 SoCon) have swept the season series versus the Bears (18-13, 9-5 SoCon) with a pair of victories in a little more than a month’s time. On Jan. 26, ETSU edged MU, 72-70, in Macon, Georgia and later, on Feb. 21, again bested Mercer, 70-49, in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Blue & Gold currently leads the all-time series, 16-13.
Last time out
The No. 2 seed ETSU women’s basketball team responded to a one-point halftime deficit with a dominant second half in which it outscored No. 7 seed Western Carolina 47-26 en route to a 73-53 victory in SoCon Championship quarterfinal action. The Bucs trailed 27-26 at halftime and fell behind by four points early in the second half but outscored the Catamounts 35-15 over final 12 minutes of game en route to a 73-53 victory. Freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) scored a game-best 14 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds.
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 Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) (13.1 ppg) and Tarter (12.2 ppg, 4.0 apg). Senior forwards Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) (10.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg) and Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) (10.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg) round out the double-figure scorers for the Bucs who are also getting solid play from fellow veteran forward Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) (9.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg).
Mercer at a glance
The Bears are riding a two-game winning streak including, most recently, a 75-54 win over Wofford in the SoCon Championship quarterfinals. MU is paced by the SoCon Player of the Year in senior guard Precious Bridges who averages a league-best 19.8 points per game and is also getting stellar production from the SoCon Freshman of the Year who averages 13.5 points a contest.
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
After besting Western Carolina, 73-53, on Thursday, the Bucs have now recorded their 20th win of the season. This victory marks 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 one win away from 150 for her career as a head coach. Ezell’s record currently stands at 149-144 overall including 28-31 in almost two seasons at the helm in Johnson City.
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