ETSU women’s basketball welcomes JSU for noon tip
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 16, 2022) – ETSU women’s basketball will hold its official home opener early on Thursday, as the Bucs welcome Jacksonville State for a 12 p.m. matinee inside Brooks Gym.
Thursday’s home opener will serve as Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day, where all faculty and staff with a valid ID receive free admission and are encouraged to catch some hoops between classes or during their lunch break. Students with valid ID are also encouraged to come between classes and take in the action.
Thursday, Nov. 17 – ETSU vs. Jacksonville State – 12:00 p.m. / ESPN+ / Radio / Live Stats / Tickets
ABOUT THE BUCS
- ETSU enters the week with a 2-1 record following back-to-back road wins over St. Bonaventure and Lafayette to highlight a two-game road swing in the Northeast Region.
- The Bucs won back-to-back non-conference games for the first time since December 31, 2019 while also winning back-to-back non-conference road games for the first time since 2017.
- Graduate transfer Jiselle Thomas (Norwalk, Ohio) wasted no time impacting the Bucs as she is averaging 20.3 points per game through three contests and has led the team in scoring for all four outings, including the exhibition against Mars Hill in Brooks Gym.
- Thomas scored her 1,000th career point in the season opener against No. 1 South Carolina. She was also just two points shy of a career-high in the St. Bonaventure game, finishing with 32 points. Her career-high of 34 was set in her junior season at Florida International.
- ETSU is led by first year Coach Brenda Mock Brown who has already guided the Bucs to a 2-1 record through three games.
- Prior to ETSU, Coach Mock spent eight seasons at UNC Asheville from 2012-20. Mock took the Bulldogs from a two-win team her first season into a back-to-back conference championship winner by her fourth and fifth seasons. She already has two wins through three games at ETSU.
- ETSU boasts a youthful roster in 2022-23 with nine newcomers and five returners.
- All five returners are sophomores, led by guard Courtney Moore (Gainesville, Fla.). Moore averaged 8.9 points per game last season and led the team in three-point shooting, steals and assists. Moore is one of three players to start every game so far, joining Thomas and her fellow graduate transfer Jayla Ruffus-Milner (North Hills, Calif.).
- Ruffus-Milner spent three seasons at Pepperdine before coming to ETSU and has led the team in rebounding through three games at 8.3 RPG.
- Another one of ETSU’s key returners is sophomore post Jakhyia Davis (Knoxville, Tenn.) who is second in scoring at 6.7 PPG and also boasts 3.3 RPG. Davis is the team’s leading returner on the boards.
- ETSU has not only seen production from its transfers and returners, but also from true freshman Journee McDaniel (New Bern, N.C.) with a steady 6.3 PPG and 6.0 RPG. She has played in all three games with two starts and leads the team with seven assists and three steals while having just four turnovers.
- After missing the exhibition and season-opener, sophomore transfer Nevaeh Brown (Charlotte, N.C.) appeared off the bench twice in the last road swing and is now averaging 6.5 PPG. She scored 13 points in the win over St. Bonaventure.
- This season, ETSU will seek its first winning campaign and postseason appearance since 2018, where the team finished 20-13 overall, 11-3 in the SoCon and with an appearance in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). ETSU has made three NCAA tournament appearances all-time (2008, 2009, 2010) and four WNIT appearances (1995, 2006, 2014, 2018).
ABOUT THE GAMECOCKS
- Jacksonville State enters Thursday with a 1-1 record following a win at home against Shorter and a road loss to Georgia.
- The Gamecocks dominated Shorter, an NCAA Division II member, with a 114-33 win in the season opener for its largest win margin in school history. Four records were broken in that game, including most points (114), widest margin of victory (81), most second-half field goals (22) and tied for the most total field goals (41).
- In their last outing, the Gamecocks battled undefeated Georgia in a tight game, but lost 52-44 in a defensive struggle. Neither team was able to shoot over 40.0 percent, but the Bulldogs used a 17-7 third quarter advantage to break away late. JSU led 23-20 at the break.
- The Gamecocks were picked to finished third in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches and media poll after finishing 24-8 overall and 13-3 in league play last season. JSU made a run to the championship final, falling to Florida Gulf Coast, and secured a postseason WNIT appearance at Tulane.
- The 2021-22 season marked the best NCAA Division I season for JSU in program history with a program-best in overall record (24-8), home record (15-1), conference wins (13) and non-conference wins (9).
- Three players are averaging double-digit scoring through the first two games with fifth-year guard Imari Martin leading the way at 13.5 PPG. Martin was one of two preseason All-ASUN selections for the squad.
- Shawnta Shaw, another fifth-year guard, has made her presence felt with 13.0 PPG, including 18 in the Shorter win. The Nashville native returns to her home state this weekend. She and junior post Madison McCoy of Knoxville are the only two Tennesseans on the JSU roster.
- The Gamecocks are led by Coach Rick Pietri, who enters his 23rd season of coaching and 10th with Jacksonville State. He is one of few coaches to have at least 100 wins at multiple schools, also doing so at his alma mater South Alabama. He has 364 career wins and 144 at JSU.
- ETSU and Jacksonville State will meet for just the third time ever on Thursday. JSU won both previous meetings in 2014 (57-56) and last season in 2021 (61-48).
- Thursday’s game will serve as JSU’s return trip to Johnson City after hosting ETSU last season. In that game, both teams shot in the 35-40 percent range, but a second quarter run propelled JSU to victory.
- ETSU returners Courtney Moore and Jakhyia Davis both had a big impact in the last meeting with a combined 15 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals.
For more information on Buccaneer women’s hoops, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s basketball tab.