Johnson CIty -
After taking a two-point advantage into halftime and holding a lead throughout the first half of the second period, the ETSU women’s basketball team struggled to make plays down the stretch, resulting in a 62-57 loss to the Jacksonville Dolphins on Thursday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center.
With the defeat, ETSU drops to 8-18 overall and 4-11 in the Atlantic Sun; while Jacksonville improves to 11-15 on the season and 8-7 in league play.
Playing with almost a full roster of players for the first time in quite awhile, the Bucs battled closely with the Dolphins throughout the early going. The Blue & Gold accumulated its largest lead of the game of seven points, 9-2, on a Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) bucket with 17:24 to go in the half. Back-and-forth basketball followed with four ties over the next seven minutes. ETSU responded with a burst to pull ahead by five, 24-19, with 8:08 to go before JU forced four additional ties with time winding down in the period. Baskets from Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) with under a minute remaining allowed the Bucs to go into halftime leading, 35-33.
Much like the first half, the following period consisted of tightly-contested play to begin. The Dolphins continued to answer ETSU to tie the game up on a number of occasions. With 10:22 to go, a pair of free throws gave JU its second, and largest, lead of the game, 47-45. After ETSU responded to take the lead back, Jacksonville went on an 11-0 surge from the 9:29 to 5:23 marks to pull ahead by 10, 58-48. With time running out, the Bucs battled back to whittle their deficit down to four with 1:33 left to play, but timely free throws down the stretch from JU allowed the Dolphins to come away victorious, 62-57.
Jacksonville featured four double-figure scorers, highlighted by 15 from Briona Brown and 14 from Sherranda Reddick. ETSU was led by game highs of 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks from Clark, while Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) notched her third-consecutive double-digit scoring performance with 10 points.
The Dolphins shot it at a 42 percent clip from the field and were fairly efficient from behind the arc with 4-of-9 (44 percent) makes. JU also cashed in from the free-throw line with 12-of-16 (75 percent) conversions as well as turned 16 ETSU turnovers into 19 points and converted 14 offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points.
Shooting an improved 43 percent from the floor, ETSU also produced in the paint to the tune of 30 points. Additionally, the Bucs’ reserves contributed 19 points, while as a team; the Blue & Gold translated 19 takeaways into 15 points. The Bucs, too, assisted on 13 of their 23 made field goals and got out on the fast break for five points.
The Bucs will play their final regular season home game of the year on Saturday, March 1, at 7 p.m. versus the North Florida Ospreys. Lone departing senior Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) will be honored before the contest as part of Senior Night festivities.