|January 16, 2020||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||Furman||ETSU|
|FG Percentage||.491 (28-57)||.400 (22-55)|
|3P FG Percentage||.357 (5-14)||.364 (4-11)|
|FT Percentage||.870 (20-23)||.609 (14-23)|
Craig - 4
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 15, 2020) – Having surpassed their road/neutral site win total from last year with a win over Western Carolina Saturday, ETSU Women’s Basketball returns to the cozy confines of Brooks Gym for a key conference matchup with league favorite Furman.
ABOUT THE BUCS
Looking for their third win in the last five games, head coach Brittney Ezell and the Buccaneers traveled from Greensboro, the site of their 63-47 loss to UNCG, to Cullowhee, N.C. for their second Southern Conference contest of the season.
Once there, a battle would ensue, the first half featuring nine ties and 11 lead changes in a game that was knotted at 29 at the break despite ETSU scoring just one point over the final four minutes and 45 seconds of the opening 20 minutes.
The third quarter would hold more back-and-forth basketball, the Blue and Gold going on a 10-2 run to start the second half only to see Western Carolina answer back by scoring 12 of the final 17 in the quarter, trimming the lead to one on an alley-oop from Judith Martin Ruiz to star sophomore Jewel Smalls.
But in the fourth and final frame, the Bucs would get back to doing what they do so well, getting to the line 12 times while converting on 11 of the attempts, redshirt junior guard Micah Scheetz (Knoxville, Tenn.) sandwiching the game-sealing steal between two trips to the line inside the final 15 seconds of play in which she made all four free throws to ice the game.
In the 62-57 final, Scheetz would reach double-figures for the 16th consecutive game, while Kaia Upton (Nashville, Tenn.) would wreak havoc on Western Carolina all afternoon, filling up the stat sheet with a career-high 17 points, five assists, six rebounds and six steals, the takeaways matching her career-high set just 11 days earlier against Converse College.
ABOUT THE PALADINS
Furman entered the 2019-20 season as the coach’s favorite to win the Southern Conference, receiving six of a possible eight first-place votes and finishing with 48 points in the poll, Wofford standing second with 39 while Mercer came in third with 38.
The Paladins play so far has done nothing to dispel their status.
Coming off an eight-point victory against Samford and a 13-point win over Mercer, a triumph that snapped the 34-game conference winning streak of the two-time defending regular and postseason Southern Conference champions, the Paladins have won five of their last six games and head into the second weekend of SoCon play 11-5 overall. Their only losses this season have come to the ACC’s Clemson, the SEC’s Vanderbilt and Georgia, Conference USA’s preseason runner-up Middle Tennessee State and the CAA’s Elon in overtime in their last game of 2019.
Led by preseason all-league selections Le’Jzae Davidson and Celena Taborn, the Paladins are shooting 44 percent from the field, trailing only UNCG for tops in the SoCon, while they’re the only team better than ETSU in opponents three-point field goal percentage, allowing foes to knock down the long ball at a slim 27.2 percent clip.
The Thursday matchup between Furman and ETSU marks the 64th time the two teams have come together, the Paladins winning 40 of the contests. Amongst the series highlights over the years, the Bucs and Paladins combined for 203 points February 28, 1987, the most in ETSU history for a game that did not go to overtime. The Blue and Gold scored a program record 114 that game, beating Furman by 25.
More recently, the Bucs and Paladins split their two meetings last season, the home team winning both matchups. ETSU’s 75-70 victory at Brooks Gym featured 18 points off the bench from Micah Scheetz, the Buc bench outscoring Furman’s 47-19.
Fans attending the Bucs-Paladins battle are encouraged to wear their gold to represent ETSU for Thursday’s Gold Out. Fans wearing gold will receive a complimentary ETSU gold flag.
The Buccaneer Sports Network will carry the 7 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 Paladins, have a conversation with Coach Ezell and much more. Listen here.
Thursday’s 7 p.m. tip will also be broadcast on ESPN+ 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 seven 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.