Contest against UNF is the first of a four-game homestand
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 26, 2013) – After failing to build upon the momentum they gained from downing Kennesaw State on Jan. 19 by falling to Mercer two days later, the Lady Bucs look to capture their first home victory since defeating Memphis on Nov. 30 when they host the North Florida Ospreys on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 1:30 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.
ETSU (4-10, 2-5) faces a tough challenge in UNF (8-10, 4-3) who has won two of their last three games, including a 66-63 victory over their cross-town rival Jacksonville on Jan. 19. The Lady Bucs look to bounce back after being defeated by Mercer on Jan. 21. The Blue and Gold entered the contest against Mercer riding high with momentum after rallying from 13 down to defeat Kennesaw State two days prior. Though they split the two games on the road trip, ETSU has to be very encouraged with Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) finally getting back on the right track by posting back-to-back double-doubles against KSU and MU. With Mitchell back to the way we are accustomed to seeing her play, the Lady Bucs will need another scorer to step up and take some of the opponent defensive attention off of the junior guard.
The matchup between the Lady Bucs and the Ospreys will be the 15th all-time meeting between the two schools, a series in which ETSU leads with a 10-4 overall series advantage. ETSU and UNF played twice last season with the Ospreys sweeping the season series. The most recent meeting was on Feb. 11, 2012 when UNF earned an overtime triumph, 74-69. The Ospreys’ win was their first-ever victory in Johnson City.
For more on Saturday’s game, read the game notes below. For more on ETSU women’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s hoops link.
WE ARE “ETSU”
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” throughout the 2012-13 season ... East Tennessee State in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics, please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Lady Buccaneers, but Lady Bucs is also acceptable.
LAST TIME OUT
ETSU (4-10, 2-5) looked to build upon their victory over Kennesaw State two days prior when they faced the Mercer Bears inside Hawkins Arena. The Lady Bucs got off to a fast start again, scoring the first five points of the contest. Mercer answered with a run of their own, followed by another streak by ETSU, pushing the lead to as many as nine. Mercer responded quickly and took the lead with two minutes remaining in the period and took a 41-37 lead into the break. In the second stanza, the Lady Bucs battled back to tie the game with eleven minutes remaining, but the Bears answered with a 22-12 run over the final eight minutes to seal the game, 79-64. Destiny Mitchell posted her second consecutive double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) added nine points.
LADY BUCS VS. NORTH FLORIDA
Saturday’s contest in the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center will be the 15th all-time meeting between the two teams. The Lady Bucs and the Ospreys last met last season on Feb. 11 when UNF topped ETSU, 74-69 in overtime. This loss made the Lady Bucs 0-2 in the season series against the Ospreys after MU bested ETSU, 70-67, on Jan. 12 in Jacksonville, Fla. In the most recent matchup, ETSU trailed for the majority of the first half and midway through the second but took a lead with 32 seconds remaining. Late missed free throws allowed UNF to tie the game with 17 seconds remaining in regulation. A missed last second heave sent the game into overtime tied 64-64. In the extra stanza, North Florida scored the first two points and never relinquished the lead, as the Ospreys outscored ETSU, 10-5, to capture their first-ever win in Johnson City. Destiny Mitchell recorded her third straight double-double after registering 13 points and 10 rebounds.
After being inserted into the starting lineup at the beginning of conference play, Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) has answered the call and has been stellar in league play. In her first start of the season at USC Upstate, Randall tallied 16 points and was 4-of-6 from behind the arc. The junior guard followed this performance with strong showings at Lipscomb (13 points, 4 rebounds), at Northern Kentucky (9 points) and at Kennesaw State (18 points). Randall is currently averaging 9.3 points per game in Atlantic Sun action.
MCQUEEN STRONG FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
In addition to running the team as a true freshman point guard, Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) has shown no fear at the free throw stripe with the game on the line. At Lipscomb and at Kennesaw State, McQueen stepped the line and buried clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the game in the Lady Bucs’ favor. McQueen currently is tied for fifth in the A-Sun in free throw shooting at 75 percent.
The Blue and Gold have outrebounded the opposition in ten of the 14 games this season and enter Saturday’s game with a plus-4.1 rebounding margin (41.9-37.7), ranking first in the A-Sun … in its game at Morehead State, ETSU out-rebounded the Eagles by 20, 46-26 … the Lady Bucs’ plus-4.1 rebound margin currently ranks in the top 75 nationally.
Currently the Lady Bucs are averaging 4.4 blocks per contest; good for tops in the Atlantic Sun. ETSU swatted a season-high eight shots in their win against Memphis on Nov. 30 inside the MSHA Athletics Center and tied this season-high rejection mark in a loss to Stetson at the Dome. The Blue and Gold have blocked five or more shots in seven games this season and are led by Tosha Austin’s (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 1.1 blocks per game which ranks in the top five individually in the league. Austin also currently ranks 19th all-time in blocked shots in Atlantic Sun history with 116 rejections.
MITCHELL’S HOT START
Destiny Mitchell has scored in double figures in seven out of the thirteen games she has played in this season and is averaging 12.6 points per contest … Mitchell scored a season-high 26 points in the opener at High Point back on Nov. 10 and added 14 points and 16 rebounds in the 10-point win vs. Memphis to close out the month of November ... Mitchell is currently sixth in the A-Sun in scoring (12.6), second in rebounding (8.9), fifth in steals (2.2) and fourth in field goal percentage (49.3).
MITCHELL’S PURSUIT TO THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
Mitchell is well on her way to become the 21st Lady Buc to join the 1,000-point club ... She is on pace to break the 1,000-point mark near the end of February as she registered 347 points as a freshman and 367 points as a sophomore for 714 total points... through ETSU’s first 14 games of the 2012-13 season she has scored 164 to move her career total to 878 .. if Mitchell scores in similar fashion in the next two years as she did as a rookie and a sophomore, she will put herself in the top-10 in Lady Buc history.
CLARK TURNS IT ON FOR A-SUN PLAY
After a solid start to the season for the now eligible transfer, Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) has really turned it on when it comes to Atlantic Sun action. Through the first seven games of league play, Clark is averaging 8.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, including back-to-back double-doubles at Lipscomb and at Northern Kentucky with 10 points & 14 rebounds and 16 points, 10 rebounds & seven steals, respectively.
SECOND HALF SURGES
The Lady Bucs have been a tough team to beat when it comes to the second half of the season (games played from January-March) … since January of 2008, ETSU is 78-34 (.696) in the months of January through March, including a program-best 19-3 mark in 2009-10.
HAVING FUN IN THE A-SUN
The Lady Bucs have enjoyed a lot of success since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06 … since joining the league, the Lady Buccaneers have averaged 15 conference wins a year, including a league-best and school record 18-2 mark in 2009-10, three Atlantic Sun Tournament titles (2008-2010), and two regular season championships (2008 and 2010) …in total, ETSU is 101-38 (.726) against conference foes since moving into the A-Sun … the Lady Bucs have also won 81 of their last 109 games against conference foes (includes the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 A-Sun Tournaments).
BOOST FROM THE BENCH
Through the early portion of the season, ETSU has gotten strong contributions from its bench. On the season ETSU averages roughly 20 bench points per game, including a season-high 57 points off the bench against Morehead State. Key reserves Cara Bowling (7.4 ppg), Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) (6.4 ppg) and Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) (6.0 ppg) have been vital for the Lady Bucs.
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