Shamauria Bridges records a game-high 23 points in the loss
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (January 30, 2016) - In front of a crowd of just over 1,000 inside Brooks Gym the ETSU Women's Basketball team dropped their first contest at home this season, falling to rival Chattanooga, 65-57 on Saturday afternoon.
The stars were out for both teams in the rematch of last year's SoCon Tournament Championship game as UTC saw three players score in double-digits while sophomore Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) and junior Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) combined for 39 of ETSU's 57 points. Tarter scored nine of her 17 points in the fourth quarter.
ETSU dominated on the glass outrebounding the Mocs, 38-24 while the Bucs grabbed 19 offensive rebounds. Bridges scored a game-high 23 points and is now just eight points away from becoming the 22nd member of the 1,000-point club. Senior Shomari Kendrick (Lexington, Ky.) off the bench led all players with nine rebounds.
Heading into the fourth quarter the Bucs trailed by nine before embarking on a 15-6 run to close the gap to just five points of Chattanooga with a minute to go in the contest. With 40 seconds left and time winding down on the shot clock UTC's Jasmine Joyner hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to help the Mocs put the game out of reach. It was Joyner's first three-pointer since Dec.19.
In the first half it was a back-and-forth battle between the Bucs and Mocs. UTC jumped out to an early 5-0 lead to begin the game before the Blue & Gold stormed back with a 6-0 run of their own to take a 11-10 into the second quarter.
Once regaining the lead early in the second, Chattanooga went on a 13-2 run midway through to grab a nine point lead. A three-pointer by Bridges from the right corner near the end of the half gave Chattanooga a slim 30-24 lead at halftime.
Back and forth the Bucs and Mocs went in the third quarter as neither team was able to take control of the game. Chattanooga pushed their lead to double digits for the first time with four minutes left in the third.
However, back-to-back baskets by Kendrick inched the Bucs closer as they took a nine point deficit into the fourth. In the quarter Chattanooga made seven of their first nine field goal attempts and shot a scorching 63.6 percent from the field.
After Chattanooga scored the first five points of the fourth, the Johnson City,Tenn. native Tarter took over the Buc offense scoring seven straight points to bring the Bucs to within five. Despite tough defense down the stretch, a three-point basket from Joyner doomed ETSU as they fell for the first time at home this season.
With the loss the Blue & Gold drop to 12-10 and 4-3 in SoCon play while the Mocs go to 14-7 and 5-2 in the conference.
The Bucs continue their season-long three-game homestand next weekend when they take on Wofford on Feb.4 at 11:00 a.m. as part of Education Day. On Feb.6, ETSU goes up against Furman at 2:00 p.m.
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For more information on Buccaneer women’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s basketball page.