Sluggish play dooms ETSU Sunday at Western Carolina
Junior guard Cara Bowling posted a team-leading 10 points versus Western Carolina.
Sluggish play dooms ETSU Sunday at Western Carolina
Sunday, December 1, 2013

Buccaneers’ uninspired play proves costly in the end

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2013) – Lethargic play to start both the first and second periods doomed the ETSU women’s basketball team on Sunday evening inside the Ramsey Center as the Western Carolina Catamounts knocked off the Buccaneers, 58-56.

With the loss ETSU drops to 2-4 overall, while Western Carolina improves to 4-3 on the season.

In ETSU’s second game in three days, the Bucs came out sluggish to start the contest, knocking down only five field goals in the first 10 minutes of the half. Though WCU’s starters also faced struggles, the Catamounts’ reinforcements picked up the slack by registering 27 points off the bench in the period. The Bucs fell behind by as many as five points, 23-18, with 7:14 remaining in the half. ETSU responded by going on a 15-4 run to take a 33-27 advantage with two minutes left in the period. WCU then answered back and went on a 9-0 run to end the half, capped by a three-pointer at the buzzer by Rena Wakama to send WCU into the break leading 36-33.

The Bucs’ slow play continued into the opening of the second period as they converted only 1-of-13 field goal attempts over the first six minutes of the half. After the Catamounts took a six point lead with 11 minutes to go, ETSU fought back with a burst to take a 53-51 lead on a Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) fast break lay-in with 5:13 remaining. The two teams traded baskets for the duration of the period, but a couple of empty offensive possessions down the stretch and the inability to track down critical rebounds proved costly as the Catamounts held on to knock-off the Bucs, 58-56.

For WCU, the Catamounts got a game-high 17 points from Rena Wakama, while Kristen Lyon was also in double-figures with 14. Meanwhile, ETSU struggled to find any offensive consistency and were led by 10 points from both McQueen and Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.). Scoring was spread broadly for the Blue and Gold though with 10 players in the scoring column.

Shooting 40 percent from the field and a poor 17 percent from behind the arc, Western Carolina did its most damage with 41 bench points and 13 points off of ETSU’s 12 turnovers.

ETSU shot a poor 36 percent from the floor and again struggled from downtown, making only 5-of-16 attempts. Late misses from the charity stripe hurt the Bucs as they shot an overall 64 percent from the line. The Blue and Gold was also outrebounded for only the second time this season.

The Bucs will have another quick turnaround when they head to Nashville, Tenn. to face the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. EST.

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