Bucs push Hokies to brink but come up short, 72-65
In addition to a team-leading 15 points, Serena Clark also stuffed the stat sheet with five rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals.
Bucs push Hokies to brink but come up short, 72-65
Saturday, November 29, 2014

Disparities in total fouls and free throw attempts impact game

BLACKSBURG, Va. (Nov. 29, 2014) – After facing a first half double-digit deficit, the ETSU women’s basketball team outplayed the Virginia Tech Hokies in the second – taking its first lead with 5:45 to go – but a few late conversions allowed the home team to hang on for a 72-65 victory on Saturday evening inside Cassell Coliseum. 

With the loss, ETSU drops to 3-4 on the young season while Virginia Tech improves to 4-2.

Playing their third-consecutive road contest in five days, the Bucs showed no signs of road-weariness early; battling neck and neck through the first four minutes. After a 7-7 tie, the Hokies went on a 17-7 run over the next seven minutes to pull ahead, 24-24. In response, the Blue & Gold tried to chip away at its deficit but was continually answered by Tech. A Sidney Cook jumper with 3:18 to go in the opening period gave VT its largest lead of the game, 34-23. A couple of late baskets allowed ETSU to go into halftime trailing, 36-27.

To open the second half, the Blue & Gold came out energized and quickly took it to its opponent. The Bucs scored on four of their five possessions to open period; capped by a lay-in from Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) with 16:34 to go to pull within three, 41-38. Facing an ETSU surge, the Hokies responded with an 11-5 streak to gain a 52-43 advantage with 10:54 left to play. Again showing resiliency, the Blue & Gold answered over the next five minutes to tie the game and eventually take its first lead of the game on a Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) three-pointer with 5:54 remaining; 60-58. Tech quickly fired back, though, to tie the game on two occasions over the next minute. Down the stretch, VT was able to execute on offense with two lay-ins while the Bucs were held stagnant from the field. Following a driving lay-in from Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) to cut the deficit to three with 1:15 to go, late free throws and a last-seconds lay-up allowed the Hokies to hang on – 72-65.  

For the fifth time this season, the Bucs had four players in double-figures; led by 15 points from Serena Clark. Also with double-digit scoring performances were Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) with 14 points, Bridges with 11 and Tarter with 10. Clark also stuffed the stat sheet with five rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals in 24 minutes of play. In addition, Tarter, too, contributed in a variety of ways with four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Meanwhile, Tech got a game-high 21 points from Rachel Camp including 13-of-15 from the free throw line.

The most eye-catching final statistics were total fouls and free throw attempts which both showed massive disparities. ETSU was whistled for 21 personal fouls and got to the charity stripe only eight times. On the flip-side, VT was called for only 12 personal fouls and reached the free throw line 24 times where it converted on 18 tries. The Hokies did outrebound the Bucs, 42-37, but only turned 13 of their offensive rebounds into nine second-chance points.

The Blue & Gold was the better team in a variety of statistical categories including points in the paint (38-30), points off turnovers (13-10), second-chance points (10-9) and bench points (17-14). For the game, ETSU shot 40 percent from the field including 48 percent in the second half which allowed for it to get back in the game. The Bucs only converted on six of its season-high 28 attempts from beyond the arc but did hit five of their eight chances from the free throw line.  

The Bucs’ road swing will continue on Wednesday, Dec. 3, with a trip to Fairfax, Virginia to take on the George Mason Patriots at 5 p.m.

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