JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 25, 2018) – In a highly anticipated matchup, the ETSU Buccaneers fell to preseason favorite Mercer, 85-65 in round one of the series. ETSU falls to 12-9 and 5-1 in conference play, as Mercer extends their win streak to 16 and remains undefeated in the conference.
Inside the Numbers
· Four Bucs finished in double figures; Tianna Tarter (21), Erica Haynes-Overton (12), Shy Copney (11), and Sadasia Tipps (10).
· This was Tarter’s 19th double-digit performance of this season.
· Tipp’s 10 points tied her career-high. She also finished with six rebounds and four assists.
· Malloree Schurr (Montgomery, Texas) recorded a team high of eight rebounds.
· The Bucs outrebounded the Bears 32-29.
· Mercer shot 58.3% from the field goal line and 70% from behind the arc.
· The game was tied twice and there were eight different lead changes.
· Mercer scored right away and started off strong going 4-4 in field goals to get an early lead.
· Sadasia Tipps (Hickory, N.C.) began the scoring for the Bucs with back-to-back points.
· Within the first four minutes of play, Mercer took a 12-5 lead before the Bucs went on a 7-0 run.
· Erica Haynes-Overton’s (Nashville, Tenn.) jumper put the Bucs within one, but Tianna Tarter’s (Johnson City, Tenn.) jumper gave the Bucs their first lead of the game.
· Mercer went on a three-minute scoring drought as the Bucs continued to battle.
· With the clock winding down to its final seconds, Tianna Tarter drove to the hoop for a layup as the buzzer went off to tie the game 21-21.
· Mercer scored first before Raven Dean (Charlotte, N.C.) drained a three pointer to give the Bucs a one-point lead.
· Mercer went 4-4 in field goals, as the Bucs went 3-3.
· ETSU had a three-minute scoring drought as Mercer went on a 9-0 run, which eventually led to a 16-2 run over five minutes.
· The Bucs trailed by 11 at the half, with the score sitting at 45-34.
· Both teams were unable to score any points for the first two minutes of the second half.
· Layups by Haynes-Overton, Tarter, and Tipps got the Bucs within nine, but the Bears could not miss.
· Tarter and Shy Copney (Johnson City, Tenn.) both hit three pointers to keep ETSU in the game.
· Tarter was fouled and went to the line for two and made both, as the Bucs trailed 56-49.
· Both teams did not make any field goals for the last two minutes of the quarter. Their only points came from free throws.
· The beginning of the fourth quarter was competitive as both teams went back and forth in points.
· Haynes-Overton’s layup got the Bucs within seven, but Mercer hit back-to-back baskets to hold their lead.
· The Bucs had no field goals for four minutes of play.
· Mercer went on a 11-1 run over 3:16 and made their last five shots.
· Tarter and Tipps gave the Bucs their last points.
· Mercer was relentless to top the Bucs 85-65.
ETSU hosts the Samford Bulldogs this Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2:00 p.m. for Fan Appreciation Day.
Head Coach Brittney Ezell… “I’m not convinced Mercer is 20 points better than us,” said Ezell. “I think we laid down a little bit and felt sorry for ourselves. I give them a lot of credit. They made open shots and they made tough shots. They’re disciplined and they’re senior laden and they did a good job.”
Malloree Schurr… “We didn’t really fight at the end. We kind of laid down for the first time this season. That’s where we have to be more accountable, and we have to step up and fight to the end.”
Shy Copney… “It seems like every time (Mercer) went down the court, they were making shots. It was hard for us because we were missing shots and they were making shots. We weren’t making up for those mistakes at the other end.”