Coming off two losses at home, the ETSU women’s basketball team will look to bounce back against the Southern Conference standing leaders, the Chattanooga Mocs.

The last time the two teams met, the Bucs suffered their first home loss of the season, losing 65-57. There were many areas the Bucs had to improve from the previous matchup, such as turning the ball over 15 times. In a close game like it was, this could have made a difference in the outcome.

A bright spot for the Bucs in the first meeting was rebounding. They out-rebounded the Mocs 38 to 24, and the Bucs did a good job of keeping the game close despite the Mocs shooting 50 percent.

One thing the Bucs will focus on is their defense. Their defense was strong in the first half, only allowing the Mocs to shoot 42 percent, but in the second half, it allowed 60 percent.

In that game, the Bucs struggled to find their shot, shooting just 38 percent as a team  and only shooting 18 percent from three in the second half. That’s something they will look to improve when the two meet again.

Shamauria Bridges and Tianna Tarter combined for 39 points. They were the only two players to have double figures for the Bucs.

With Bridges averaging 15.4 points per game and Tarter averaging 17 points per game, their contributions will be needed. Both will need to be efficient from three in the second half to allow the Bucs’ post players to score, which they showed could be a key to get players like Chandler Christopher going early. Christopher scored all of her seven points in the second half.

The Bucs will need to slow down the Mocs’ leading scorer, Jasmine Joyner, who scored 13 of her 19 points in the second half.

This is a big game for the Bucs. A win would lock them in as the fourth seed in the SoCon Tournament and knock the Mocs down to the second seed. This could set up a potential third meeting between the teams down the line.

The Bucs are currently 16-12 on the season and are 8-5 in the SoCon. They will face off against the Mocs, who are 20-7 on the season and 11-2 in the SoCon, on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. at McKenzie Arena.