|February 08, 2020||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||UNCG||ETSU|
|FG Percentage||.400 (22-55)||.340 (16-47)|
|3P FG Percentage||.421 (8-19)||.235 (4-17)|
|FT Percentage||.929 (13-14)||.643 (9-14)|
Upton - 2
Jackson - 1
Upton - 1
Adams - 1
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 7, 2020) – Following head coach Brittney Ezell’s 100th win at the helm of ETSU Women’s Basketball, the Bucs look to build on their Thursday throttling of Western Carolina as they see the Spartans come to Brooks Gym Saturday.
ABOUT THE BUCS
Reduced to seven available players against the Catamounts, ETSU was in a tight spot entering their matchup with WCU, a team that gave them a scare in Cullowhee four weeks earlier in the Blue and Gold’s first conference win of the year.
While they were missing Ti Kimbro (Memphis, Tenn.), Arielle Harvey (Atlanta, Ga.) and Jada Craig (Winston-Salem, N.C.) with various ailments this time around, Ezell witnessed her seven stalwarts show their strength early and often, scoring 28 of the 36 first quarter points behind 11 from sophomore E’Lease Stafford (Lawrence, Kan.). While the Catamounts would make a run in the second quarter to cut the Buccaneers lead to 12, ETSU would continue their offensive onslaught, putting up 45 points in the first 20 minutes, their most in a half this season, to build an 18-point lead at the break.
Once the second half came around, little would change, Stafford piling up points while sophomore Shynia Jackson (Warner Robins, Ga.) would put up full game numbers in just the final two quarters, logging 12 points and 10 rebounds in the second half to put away the Catamounts.
In the 76-49 trouncing, Stafford would hit two late threes to set a new career high with 29 points, Jackson would stat her second career double-double, dropping 18 points while snatching a career-high 15 rebounds and Kaia Upton (Nashville, Tenn.), Jackson and Stafford’s fellow second-year, would play facilitator throughout, distributing nine assists to also set a career high and solidify the sophomore core’s stellar showing.
“They weren’t destined to come here to be mediocre,” Coach Ezell said. “E’Lease Stafford, Shynia Jackson, the entire sophomore class was destined to be great. We’re going to continue to push them until they believe that.”
ABOUT THE SPARTANS
In the topsy-turvy Southern Conference title race, UNCG stands in a four-way tie for second following their 74-59 loss to Chattanooga Thursday.
In the defeat, leading scorer Nadine Soliman netted 24 points, but those would be offset by Lakelyn Bouldin’s 25 for the Mocs, who placed Abbey Cornelius and Dena Jarrells in double-figures as well. Chatt would shoot an impressive 52 percent from the floor on the night, 50 percent from three-point land and finish plus-nine on the glass.
While they’d come up short against Bouldin and Co., losing their third in their last four outings, the Spartans early successes during the SoCon schedule leave them level with the Mocs, Furman and Wofford a game behind Samford for the conference’s top spot. While it’s a crowded field at the top, UNCG is the statistical favorite to emerge from the bunch with the regular season championship and the league’s top seed, leading the SoCon in scoring defense, scoring margin, free throw percentage, field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense and rebounding margin.
ETSU leads the all-time series against UNCG 19-15, the Spartans snapping a three-game losing streak to the Bucs in each team’s league-opening game Jan. 9 at Fleming Gymnasium.
In the SoCon opener, the Spartans started strong, running to a 24-10 lead after a quarter of play thanks to home run passes and transition baskets. While ETSU would outscore UNCG by one in the middle two quarters and cut what was a 21-point lead to nine with eight minutes left in regulation, the Spartans would steady, scoring 17 of the final 27 points to win going away 63-47.
FAN APPRECIATION DAY
The Buccaneers are giving thanks to their fans for their support throughout the 2019-20 year Saturday, those flooding into Brooks Gym being treated to a free rally towel presented by ETSU Health while supplies last.
Fans are encouraged to stay after the contest as well, where they’ll receive posters of this year’s team. Players will be available to sign said posters or other memorabilia and take pictures with fans immediately following the conclusion of the contest.
The Buccaneer Sports Network will carry the 2 p.m. start, along with a half-hour pregame of the contest, with host Mike Gallagher. Gallagher will look back to the Bucs matchup with Western Carolina, break down the meeting with the Spartans, have a conversation with head coach Brittney Ezell and much more. Listen here.
Saturday’s festivities will also be broadcast on ESPN3 with play-by-play man Kasey Marler and analyst Bruce Tranbarger, a video stream available here.
To purchase women’s basketball single-game tickets to see this year’s Bucs, ensuring a seat for any of ETSU’s three remaining home games in Brooks Gym, click here.
For more information on ETSU Women’s Basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s basketball page.