JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 12, 2015) – Under third year head coach Brittney Ezell, the ETSU women’s basketball opens up its 2015-16 season against UNC Asheville inside Brooks Gym on Friday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 13 • 7:00 p.m.
UNC Asheville Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 Big South)
at ETSU Buccaneers (0-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Location: Johnson City, Tenn.
Site: Brooks Gym (2,700)
All-Time Series Record: ETSU leads, 17-1
ETSU tips off its 47th season of varsity women’s basketball when they host UNC Asheville inside Brooks Gym on Friday. It’s the second straight season, the Bucs and the Bulldogs get together in the season opener. Last season, ETSU came away with an 81-68 victory in Asheville. The Blue & Gold return eight from last year’s squad that went 21-12 and earned a berth in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) against NC State.
ETSU picked Second in SoCon media poll; Third in SoCon coaches poll
As voted by the league’s head coaches, the Bucs were picked to finish third with 35 points behind Furman and Chattanooga. In the media poll, ETSU was selected second with one first-place vote.
Bridges, Tarter named Preseason All-SoCon
Junior Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) and sophomore Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) garnered preseason All-SoCon honors. Bridges led ETSU with 12.5 points per game en route to Second Team All-SoCon honors. Tarter was named to the All-SoCon Freshman team a season ago.
Home Sweet Home
Dating back to 1979, ETSU has compiled a staggering .611 winning percentage (22-14) in home openers. Since 2005, the Bucs are 87-65 (.572) at home. ETSU is looking for back-to-back opening wins to start the season since 2009-10. It’s also the first time since 2011, the Bucs have began their season at home.
Youth Beyond Their Years
At a combined age of 121 years old, the ETSU women’s basketball program has the second youngest coaching staff in NCAA Division I. For third year head coach Brittney Ezell, she became the second fastest coach at ETSU to eclipse the 30-win mark doing so in just 61 games.
Scouting the Bulldogs
UNC Asheville returns nine players from a team that went 9-22 (7-13 Big South) a season ago. During the 2014-15 campaign, ten of the Bulldogs losses came by a single-digit margin including six coming by just three points or less. Asheville returns its leading scorer Tianna Knuckles who averaged 8.6 points per game last year. The Bulldogs were picked to finish eighth in the Big South coaches’ preseason poll.
Last Time Out vs. UNC Asheville
The two teams met last year in the season opener for both teams with ETSU coming away victorious, 81-68 in Asheville. Tarter contributed 21 points along with six rebounds and six assists. The Bucs had an unbelievable night from the field shooting 51.9 percent while holding the Bulldogs to just 38 percent.
What’s Up Next?
ETSU will have a quick turnaround as they hit the road for the first time during the 2015-16 campaign to take on Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) member Wake Forest on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2:00 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2008.
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For more information on Buccaneer women’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s basketball page.