Slow start to Second Half costs ETSU in 70-62 loss vs. Chattanooga

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (February 10, 2017) – Scoring just eight points in the third quarter proved to be costly for the ETSU Women’s Basketball team as they fell to in-state foe Chattanooga, 70-62 on Friday night inside Brooks Gym.

In front 1, 316 fans as part of a “Gold Out”, the Buccaneers were outscored 45-31 in the second half including 26-8 in the third quarter to drop their second straight contest. ETSU falls to 14-11 and 6-4 in Southern Conference play.

Leading the Bucs for the seventh time this season was senior Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) who played all 40 minutes and scored a game-high 24 points. It’s the 11th time in the past 12 games that Bridges has scored in double figures along with knocking down four three-pointers for the seventh time this season. Bridges is now tied for third place all-time in SoCon history with 276 career made three’s.

Also playing all 40 minutes was sophomore Raven Dean (Charlotte, N.C.) who registered 12 points along with seven rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal. It’s the fourth straight game Dean has scored in double figures.

All-American candidate junior Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) scored 11 points in 40 minutes played while sophomore Sadasia Tipps (Hickory, N.C.) poured in seven points and six rebounds. Overall the Bucs forced UTC to commit 17 turnovers scoring 16 points off those turnovers. ETSU had a season-low five turnovers on the night while collecting nine steals.

In the first half the Bucs outscored the Mocs, 31-25 as the trio of Bridges, Dean and Tarter combined to score 26 of ETSU’s total 31 points. ETSU ended the first quarter on a 9-2 run with four points from Tarter for a 16-10 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.

Midway through the second the Bucs controlled the game leading 20-15, forcing the Mocs to commit nine turnovers compared to ETSU’s one. Chattanooga cut the Buccaneer lead to three with two minutes left in the first half before Bridges sank a floater in the paint and Tarter knocked down a three-pointer from the left side. At the half, ETSU led 31-25.

The Chattanooga offense struck fire in the third quarter as the Mocs outscored the Bucs, 26-8 while shooting 60 percent from the field. After sophomore Malloree Schurr (Montgomery, Texas) scored the first points of the third, the Bucs misses their next 10 shots as UTC embarked on a 13-0 run. Overall in the third, ETSU shot just 15.8 percent from the field as Chattanooga took a 51-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

A fast break lay-up by Bridges cut the Chattanooga lead to five with 7:33 left as ETSU during the first three minutes of the fourth went on a 10-0 run. However, Chattanooga responded with an 8-0 run to regain a double-digit lead with five minutes remaining. Down the stretch, ETSU went 5-of-12 from field including four straight baskets while holding Mocs without a field goal the final three minutes of play. Free-throws at the end lifted Chattanooga to a 70-62 victory.

ETSU will hit the road for the final time next weekend as the Bucs take on Western Carolina on Feb.16 followed by UNCG on Feb.18.

BY ETSU

 

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