Coming into their matchup against Western Carolina Saturday the Bucs had a 13-10 record after dropping a game in the conference two days prior.
“The quick turnaround will help,” said Head Coach Brittney Ezell following their conference loss to UNCG. “Really disappointed in it tonight, but we’ll have to find a way to get better pretty quick.”
The Bucs struggles have come on the road this season with a 5-7 record. Western Carolina came into Saturday with a 4-19 record and winless in conference play.
The Bucs in the first quarter jumped to an early 9-3 lead applying pressure early defensively. Western Carolina didn’t get rattled, tying the game at 14 with under two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Bucs ended the first quarter leading 18-14.
The Bucs’ lead increased to 10 after a Tianna Tater (Johnson City, Tennessee) layup with the score turning to 25-16 with eight minutes left in the second quarter. The Bucs’ defensive intensity continued to be too much for Western Carolina in the second.
With less than four minutes remaining in the half, the Bucs lead was 34-18. The Bucs’ offense was efficient, getting any shot they wanted. The Bucs went into the half leading 36-22 struggling to find a bucket in the last couple of minutes.
The Bucs did not slow down in the third; in fact they started to find their three-point range. In the third, the Bucs made five of their nine threes for the game. The Bucs lead jumped to 29 points at the end of the third, 60-31 The Bucs outscored Western Carolina 24-9 in the quarter.
In the fourth with such a huge lead, the importance for the Bucs was to remain healthy while still playing hard.
The Bucs won getting their 14th win of the season and improving their conference record to 7-2 for the season. Tarter led all scorers with 23 points and added eight assists. Malloree Schurr (Montgomery, Texas) added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucs in the win.