The ETSU women’s basketball team hosted the University of North Carolina-Greensboro Spartans on Thursday evening in their fourth SoCon match of the season.
The game started off in favor of the Bucs, being up 13-11 going into the second quarter.
However, the constant pressure from the Spartans press threw off the Bucs resulting in a total of 12 turnovers in the first half. The Spartans had eight points directly from the turnovers.
At halftime, ETSU was only up by two having allowed UNCG’s slow start to pick up pace.
“They were not pleased at all at halftime and they knew that they could do better … and that’s the kind of response that you want from everybody,” said Head Coach Britney Ezell.
And respond they did.
UNCG came out strong after halftime, resulting in a neck-in-neck game up until the last minutes of the third quarter.
Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) lit up the crowd after stealing the ball, resulting in a fake pass and score.
“She [UNCG player] was facing me, and I knew if I faked it to Raven she would fall for it” Bridges said.
Following this, Bridges put up two 3-point shots almost back-to-back, firing up the crowd once again after having to sit almost all of the first quarter due to foul trouble.
The Bucs needed this spark of momentum going into the fourth quarter up 47-40.
Forward Raven Dean (Charlotte, N.C.) protected the Bucs with 10 defensive rebounds of her total 13, the highest of the game.
UNCG tried to contend the lead by the Bucs by were unable to respond, giving the Bucs at 60-52 victory.
Overall, Bridges finished as the leading scorer with 17 points, with teammate Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) coming close behind with 12.
This match was a key win after the loss to Chattanooga on the road.
“In order to contend for the championship you have to defend home floor and steal one or two on the road,” Ezell said.
This being the first home match of SoCon play, the Bucs must continue strong and try to take another game on the road.
The team hosted Western Carolina on Saturday, and as challenged by Ezell, were able to protect home with a .
The Bucs are now 3-2 in SoCon play, with their next matchup again on the road to Furman on Jan. 26.