Lady Bucs face league-leading FGCU Saturday night

Friday, December 02, 2011

FT. MEYERS, Fla. (Dec. 2, 2011) – Coming off a heartbreaking loss to Stetson in the conference opener on Thursday afternoon, the ETSU women’s basketball team continues its stint in the Sunshine state when the Lady Bucs take on league-leading Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday night. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. inside Alico Arena.

ETSU has dropped seven straight games to start the season, marking the longest stretch to start a season since at least the 1968-69 season, while the last time a Lady Buccaneer team lost eight straight was in 1991-92.

The Lady Bucs are coming off an emotional loss to the Hatters where ETSU trailed by as many as 15 points and came back to tie the game twice late in the game. However, the Blue and Gold couldn’t get over the hump as Stetson closed out the final two minutes on a 9-3 run to take the A-Sun opener, 68-60.

Senior guard Tarita Gordon (Wichita, Kan.) broke out of a shooting slump by scoring a team-high 20 points and dishing out four assists on Thursday afternoon, while fellow senior Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) added 11 points and a career-tying nine rebounds. Meanwhile, a few underclassmen stepped up as sophomore Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) and freshman Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) provided a spark. Mitchell finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, and three assists, and Bowling – who didn’t register any points – stepped up on the defensive end as she forced a season-high five steals in 12 minutes of work.

FGCU – who is now eligible for A-Sun postseason play for the first time since joining the league – was picked to win the league by both the coaches and media, and currently sits 4-1 on the young season. The reigning A-Sun regular season champions are also ranked eighth in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

The Eagles are coming off a lop-sided 106-27 win over NAIA foe, Webber International, on Monday night. FGCU tied a NCAA record with 21 threes, while every Eagle player who played reached the scoring column. Four players scored in double figures as Amber Rechis netted a game-high 26 points on 6-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc and highly touted freshman, Whitney Knight, finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, six blocks, and two steals in 26 minutes off the bench.

FGCU has won the last three games in the series and lead the all-time series, 5-2. The last win for the Lady Bucs in the short-lived rivalry was an 88-83 victory back on Jan. 16, 2010 in Johnson City. ETSU also owns a win on the Eagles’ home court as the Lady Bucs knocked off FGCU inside “The Nest,” 75-67, giving coach Karen Kemp her 200th victory. Last season – despite not having Mitchell – the Lady Bucs let one get away at home as FGCU rallied for a seven-point victory, 77-70. The Eagles capped off the sweep with an 81-65 win in front of 2,921 fans inside Alico Arena.

Fans unable to make the trip to Florida can listen to all the action on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster as “Voice of the Lady Bucs” John Stevens will have the call at 7:30 p.m. The game will also be aired live on ASun.TV, while live stats will be available by visiting FGCUAthletics.com. Twitter updates will also be provided via @ETSUAthletics.

For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

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