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Pair of guards lead way on offense for ETSU
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Jan. 2, 2015) – Sophomore guard Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) scored a team-high 14 points while freshman point guard Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) totaled 12 points and a career-high eight assists in a 95-62 setback to the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday afternoon inside Carmichael Arena.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 8-7 on the season while UNC improves to 13-1 on the year.
In each teams’ final non-conference matchup of the season, the Bucs came out energized and hung around with the nationally-ranked Tar Heels for the first four minutes of the opening period. After trailing, 5-4, with 16:30 to go in the first half, the Blue & Gold put together a 7-0 surge over the next two minutes to pull ahead. UNC then answered with a 10-0 run and even built up four-point advantage prior to the Bucs answering again to even up the score. The two teams traded baskets over the next four minutes before UNC accumulated another streak to lead, 26-19, with seven minutes to go in the opening half. ETSU continued to show fight and kept within striking distance prior to the Tar Heels scoring six points in the final 36 seconds including UNC’s Jamie Cherry burying a half-court heave at the buzzer to bring the home team’s advantage to 43-32 going into halftime.
Riding some momentum from their end of the half flurry, the Tar Heels scored the first 10 points of the second period and the rout was on. The Blue & Gold had no answer on the inside with UNC scoring 34 points in the paint and turning 10 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points during the half. Additionally, the Tar Heels continued to roll in scorers with their bench totaling 29 points in the second period. The Bucs were able to apply some defensive pressure and got 10 points off of five UNC turnovers in the half. Ultimately, ETSU was unable to combat the Tar Heels' wealth of talent and depth and dropped a 95-62 decision.
UNC forward Stephanie Mavunga scored a game-high 26 points on 13-of-14 shooting and also nearly recorded a double-double with nine rebounds. The Tar Heels also had three additional players in double figures; guard Cherry with 13, guard Alisha Gray with 10 and guard Jessica Washington also with 10. Meanwhile, for the Bucs, Bridges’ team-high point total included four made three-pointers and senior forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) almost notched her fourth double-double of the season with eight points and a team-best nine rebounds. Moreover, senior forward Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.
Over the course of the game, the Tar Heels dominated in the paint with 56 points and got 49 points from their loaded bench. UNC also shot the ball very efficiently at 57 percent (40-of-70) and scored 28 points off of 19 offensive rebounds as well as capitalized with 23 points off of 18 ETSU miscues.
The Blue & Gold shot the ball at a 38 percent clip for the game and assisted on 17 of its 24 made baskets. The Bucs also scored 16 points off of 13 home team turnovers and got 12 points from their bench. Furthermore, ETSU totaled 31 rebounds including 17 offensive.
The Bucs will begin league play when it faces Southern Conference foe Furman on Jan. 10 in Greenville, South Carolina.
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