Six double-figure scorers allows ETSU to light up the scoreboard
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2013) – It was a tale of two halves Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center as the ETSU women’s basketball team battled back from a 55-51 deficit at the half and used a 16-2 run over the first six minutes of the second period to begin to pull away from the Shepherd Rams en route to a 116-82 exhibition win.
In the start of the Brittney Ezell era for women’s hoops at ETSU, the NCAA Division II Shepherd Rams came out firing from long range. After ETSU took a 12-9 lead four minutes into the game, the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member began to get hot from deep; nailing 8-of-11 from behind the arc to take a 37-29 lead with 9:42 left in the period. Despite Shepherd’s hot shooting, the Buccaneers battled back and closed the gap to 55-51 at the break.
An energized ETSU group entered the second half scoring six of the first eight points of the period to pull even with the Rams, 57-57, with 15:54 to go. Once ETSU gained the lead on a Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) three-pointer with 13 minutes remaining, the Bucs never looked back. The Blue and Gold used a 29-6 surge over the first 10 minutes of the half to increase its lead to 80-61. ETSU cruised the rest of the way, even increasing its lead to as many as 37 with under a minute to play.
Shepherd got team-highs of 15 points from Rachel Johnson and Alex Weakland, while three additional Rams scored in double-figures with Hailey Brown adding 13 as well as Gabby Finchum and Cara Mason each adding 11. Meanwhile, ETSU junior forward Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) scored a game-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds and four steals. Sophomore guard Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.), in her first-ever start at ETSU, recorded 16 points while freshman guard Jasmine Hotchkins (Phoenix) tallied 16 as well, including 4-of-7 from downtown.
Following an unbelievable first half in which the Rams shot 69 percent from three (9-of-12), Shepherd cooled down in the second stanza making only 1-of-8 trifectas. SU shot a poor 23 percent from the field in the second period resulting in 43 percent shooting percentage for the game.
Meanwhile, ETSU improved its shooting in the second half from 49 at the half to 64 in the second resulting in a 57 percent game total. The Bucs also knocked down 6-of-12 from behind the arc in the second period and made 9-of-11 free throws. For the game, the Blue and Gold had the upper hand in a number of categories including dominating points in the paint (52-24), and holding strong advantages in points off turnovers (33-18), second chance points (21-12) and fast break points (10-2).
The ETSU women’s basketball team will begin regular season action on the road with a trip across the state to Memphis, Tenn. to take on the Memphis Tigers on Friday, Nov. 8, at 5 p.m.
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