JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 4, 2018) – ESTU kicked off Southern Conference play with a 66-50 win over Western Carolina on Thursday night inside Brooks Gym. The Bucs now improve to 8-8 overall and 1-0 in conference action. This is now their third of five conference opening wins.
Inside the Numbers
· Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) led the Bucs with 22 points and five steals, making this her 14th double-digit game of the season. She also played in her 100th career game tonight.
· Tarter went a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line. She has moved into third place in ETSU’s career records in free throws.
· Erica Haynes-Overton (Nashville, Tenn.) also finished in double figures with 14 points and seven steals.
· Sadasia Tipps (Hickory, N.C.) led the Bucs in rebounds, finishing with nine.
· Britney Snowden (Pensacola, Fla.) had five rebounds, five assists, and four points.
· ETSU had more steals than Western Carolina by a ratio of 20-5. They also forced 32 turnovers.
· ETSU had control over the entire game as the Western Carolina was unable to take a lead.
· The Bucs’ largest lead came in the fourth quarter, when they were up by 17 points.
· Tianna Tarter got things started giving the Bucs a 2-0 lead with her free throws.
· Erica Haynes-Overton went on a 5-0 run with a layup and three-pointer.
· ETSU went on an 11-0 run going five for six in field goals.
· Western Carolina was scoreless for five minutes and the Bucs forced six turnovers.
· The Bucs outscored the Catamounts 7-2 in the final 1:48 of the quarter.
· The Bucs led by nine to end the first quarter, 19-11.
· Back-to-back three pointers by Western Carolina’s Tess Harris put the Catamounts within four.
· ETSU was scoreless for two minutes as the Catamounts fought back, but Britney Snowden ended that with a jumper.
· At the media timeout, Western Carolina was outscoring the Bucs 10-6.
· Raven Dean (Charlotte, N.C.) nailed a three-pointer, but Western Carolina followed with a three and a layup to tie the game at 30.
· Tarter put the Bucs ahead by two after hitting both free throws and passed Tara Davis (2007-2011) with 369 career free throws.
· ETSU went 0-4 in field goals as they were unable to get any points from the field.
· Tarter finished the half going 8-8 in free throws and leading the Bucs with 14 points.
· Western Carolina’s four, three-pointers helped them to get within four 34-30.
· Haynes-Overton hit a three-pointer before ETSU went 0 for 6 in field goals.
· A Western Carolina three-pointer then put them within three of the Bucs.
· ETSU forced five turnovers and outscored Western Carolina 13-6 at the media timeout with 3:45 remaining.
· ETSU shot 83% from the free throw line, while the Catamounts did not make a single free throw attempt until there was 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
· Tarter took and made her 10th free throw of the game.
· The Bucs then went on a 7-0 run.
· Shy Copney (Johnson City, Tenn.) hit a three-pointer to put the Bucs up by 15.
· Western Carolina missed their last four field goal attempts.
· Both teams did not score for two minutes and Western Carolina did not score for the remaining 4:51 of the game.
· ETSU will host UNCG this Saturday, Jan. 6. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.
Coach Ezell’s Opening Statement… “Obviously I’m pleased. Half the conference is 1-0 and half the conference is 0-1 and you’re happy to be on the positive side of that. I thought we did some
really good things in transition and we turned them over 29 times, which is really good. Tianna Tarter and Erica Haynes-Overton were the catalysts in that. I thought Tianna and Erica played really good floor games for us. I think we had some people step up considering we’ve been sick and a little hurt, so I was pleased with the effort tonight. We need to shoot the ball a little bit better and that goes on the players to get into the gym, but we’ve been talking about that. I’m really happy to be 1-0 and moving onto Saturday.”
On forcing so many turnovers… “This is back-to-back games where we’ve had so many turnovers. Tianna and Erica really feed off each other. Erica has made Tianna a better defender and Tianna has made Erica a more patient defender at times. I think that’s a collective thing. Our press has a gradual effect. It wears people down. You start to see people not wanting the basketball, so we have to continue to keep working on it to make sure it’s something we can count on for the full 40 minutes. Defensive efforts will travel and we talked about that with our kids. Defense will never leave you. You may not shoot it well, but you can always defend and get deflections.”