It was double trouble in Brooks Gym as ETSU’s starting guards Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) and Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tennessee) led their team past the Furman Paladins on Feb. 6.
Bridges and Tarter combined for 37 points, 30 of them coming from the second half alone.
“Our chemistry is good together,” said Bridges. “We play with each other well.”
Going into halftime, the Bucs trailed 31-29. Most of the stats were close at the end of the first half, but the Bucs were having trouble at the 3-point line. The team shot one for seven from the 3-point line in the first half. Despite the shooting from the 3-point line, the Bucs spread the ball well as eight of the 10 players scored.
The third quarter was the most exciting as the atmosphere in Brooks Gym caught fire. The Bucs sawed at the Paladin lead throughout the third quarter, but the Bucs truly made a statement in the final three minutes of the quarter. The team went on a 16-7 run to give them a nine-point, 53-44 lead to end the third quarter.
“It had to be fun to watch,” said ETSU coach Brittney Ezell. “The game was up and down… People were making shots and that’s how we want to play… That’s fun! I tell the kids all the time to have fun. I want you to play, use your God-given abilities and use the instructions you’ve been given to just make the most of the moment… and I thought they did that in those few minutes. That’s what brings crowd to the game and gets people excited. I thought they were free, relaxed and trusted one another… That’s what being on a team is all about.”
With 6:24 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Paladins were back in the game, behind 58-57, but the Bucs did not give up the lead. A pair of free throws from Tarter at the end of the game sealed the deal for the Bucs.
Overall, the Bucs closed out the second half.
The team held Furman to 37.5 percent from the field and 8.3 percent from the 3-point line compared to their previous 38.5 percent and 36.4 percent in the first half.
ETSU ended with three players in double figures: Bridges with 19, Tarter with 18 and Shomari Kendrick (Lexington, Ky.) with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Furman had two players in double figures: Holli Wilkins (Atlanta, Ga.) with 20 and Whitney Bunn (Bunn, NC) with 19.
With this win, ETSU is now 14-10 overall and 6-3 in the Southern Conference. They will next travel to North Carolina to take on UNC-Greensboro on Thursday.