On Thursday, the Bucs went on the road to go up against the Western Carolina University Catamounts for the first of two road games this week.
In a knockout effort, the team came out on top 72-55.
Leading the team for the eighth game now, Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.) put up 18 points, along with sophomore Raven Dean (Charlotte, N.C.) who for the fourth time put up double digits with 18.
Bridges went 2-for-5 at the three-point line against the Catamounts. Despite 16 turnovers, the Bucs lead the Catamounts throughout the game, with WCU only closing in by 11 points, the closest the game got.
Head Coach Brittney Ezell was pleased with the team’s effort from tip to buzzer, but was not happy with the reaction to the Catamounts’ press, a factor that would come in full force from UNCG on Saturday.
“That’s our 15th win that guarantees a winning season for the third straight year at ETSU,” Ezell said. “Which from what we inherited, from what we had to build … I wouldn’t have guessed that.”
The big lead from the beginning allowed for some of the younger players to get time on the court. Coach Ezell was proud of that they stepped up to the occasion.
“I’m not going to give you a minute just because,” Ezell said, “you’re going to earn it.”
This success did not transfer over to Saturday when the Bucs went on the road for the final time in regular SoCon play to UNC – Greensboro. The Bucs fell short 73-62, despite a battle in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, putting up 11 out of the 16 points scored.
This loss puts the Bucs at 7-5 for the season, but two more difficult feats were accomplished despite that fact.
Tiana Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) became the first player since 2010 to score 500 points in a season, putting up 17 against the Spartans, as only a junior.
Bridges led the team with 19 points, all but one point coming from her six three-point shots. She is now third in ETSU history for most three-points in a season, and still has two games to go.
Dean also made another showing with Bridges and Tarter, accounting for 14 of the Bucs points, seven of which came in the third quarter alone.
With traveling over, the Bucs host Wofford on Thursday and Furman on Saturday to conclude regular season SoCon play.