Bucs move on to face Chattanooga on Sunday in Championship final
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 6, 2015) – The No. 2 seed ETSU women’s basketball team grinded out a 66-56 victory over the No. 3 seed Mercer Bears on Friday afternoon in the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship semifinals inside the U.S. Cellular Center.
The Bucs had three players record double-doubles including a team-best 16 points and 11 rebounds from senior forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.), while freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) totaled 15 points, a game and season-high 15 rebounds, and six assists. Senior forward Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) contributed a double-double performance of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, ETSU sweeps the season series against MU and improves to 21-10 overall. Meanwhile the Bears drop to 18-14 on the season. This victory also marks Brittney Ezell’s 150th win in her 10th season as a head coach.
In addition, the stage is now set for the 2015 SoCon Championship final on Sunday at 1 p.m. inside the U.S. Cellular Center between the Bucs and the No. 1 seed Chattanooga Mocs. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3. Click here for ticket information.
To start the game, the familiar foes both struggled from the field, combining for only six made field goals through the opening eight-and-a-half minutes. The Bucs were finally able to get going on offense with an 8-0 run from the 9:36 to 6:52 marks to move ahead by a then game-high seven points, 20-13. After the Bears answered to get within five, 22-17, with five minutes remaining in the opening period, the Blue & Gold countered with a 9-4 surge to close the half to bring its lead to 31-21 at the break.
The Bucs continued to limit MU from the field to start the second period and knocked down three of their first four shots to stay in the driver’s seat. Much like the matchup in Macon, Georgia in late January, the Bears hung around with a 5-0 burst from the 9:28 to 6:40 marks to reduce ETSU’s advantage to six points, 48-42. With Mercer threatening, a Tarter three-pointer with 2:26 left to play put the Bucs up 59-47 to essentially put the game away.
Mercer was led by two double-digit scorers including a game-high 24 points from SoCon Player of the Year senior guard Precious Bridges and 10 from SoCon Freshman of the Year guard Kahlia Lawrence. Center Teanna Robinson grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds.
The Blue & Gold shot the ball at a 42 percent clip from the field for the game, but did its most damage by limiting MU to 30 percent shooting for the game including 20 percent in the opening period. ETSU scored 26 points in the paint and got out on the fast break for 11 points. The Bucs also outrebounded the Bears, 46-38, and had 12 assists on 22 made field goals.
MU totaled 20 points in the paint, forced ETSU into 13 turnovers which resulted in 10 points, and converted 15 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points. The Bears were able to knock down 11-of-13 free throws, but only drained one three pointer.
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