Bucs battle but come up short vs. league-leading Hatters, 80-55
Bucs battle but come up short vs. league-leading Hatters, 80-55
Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chandler Christopher records a game-high tying 17 points

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 8, 2014) – Facing league-leading Stetson, the ETSU women’s basketball team hung with the Hatters for much of the first half, but a late push to end the opening period and efficient offense in the second half by SU was too much for the Bucs to overcome as they dropped a 80-55 decision on Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.

As a result, ETSU falls to 7-15 overall and 3-8 in the Atlantic Sun, while Stetson improves to 18-5 on the season and 10-1 in league play.

With the returns of leading scorer Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and frontcourt player Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.), the Blue & Gold hung with the conference heavyweights for a majority of the first half. After falling behind by as many as 10 points with 12:07 to go, the Bucs battled back with a 10-4 run to get within four, 19-15, with 7:27 remaining. Feeling pressure from ETSU, the Hatters responded with an 18-8 surge to take a 37-23 advantage into halftime.

Per usual, the Bucs came out of halftime energized and quickly began to reduce their deficit. ETSU manufactured an 11-3 burst to open the period, capped by a Jasmine Hotchkins (Phoenix, Ariz.) three-pointer with 15:12 to play to whittle SU’s advantage down to six, 40-34. The Hatters then battled back with a run of their own to pull ahead by double-digits. Searching for ways to counter Stetson’s attack, ETSU struggled to find any consistent offense. Conversely, SU was able to execute and nailed a couple huge triples down the stretch to thwart any potential Blue & Gold advance. Ultimately, the Bucs’ lack of depth and offensive firepower, coupled with Stetson’s conference-pacing scoring prowess, proved to be too much as ETSU fell, 80-55.

The Hatters featured five double-figure scorers; led by a game-high tying 17 points from both Amber Porter and Myeisha Hall. For ETSU, sophomore guard Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.), too, added 17 points while also recording a career-high five steals. Additionally, for the Bucs, freshman guard Hotchkins came off of the bench to score 10 points including two made trifectas.

Stetson shot an efficient 47 percent from the field featuring a strong 50 percent (11-of-22) from behind the arc. SU also scored 30 points in the paint and converted 19 takeaways into 30 points. Additionally, the Hatters outrebounded the Bucs, 44-34, and got out on the fast break for 18 points.

Meanwhile, ETSU again struggled from the floor with a season-low 29 percent shooting including an identical 29 percent from downtown. The Blue & Gold was able to convert from the free-throw line, though, with 15-of-17 (88 percent) makes and left a mark in the paint with 22 points. Moreover, the Bucs turned Stetson over 19 times and got 16 points from their limited bench.

The matchup was part of the nationwide “Play 4 Kay: Think Pink” initiative. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from breast cancer awareness merchandise sales at the game will benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. 

The Bucs will continue league play on the road when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C. to face the USC Upstate Spartans on Feb. 15 at 4:30 p.m. inside the Hodge Center.

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