ETSU women’s basketball four game win streak snapped by Bowling Green

Published 2:25 pm Monday, December 12, 2022

ETSU women’s basketball suffers first home loss
 JOHNSON CITY – In a matchup of two surging mid-major programs on Sunday, ETSU women’s basketball was put to the test by a strong Bowling Green team, falling 82-64 inside Brooks Gym.
 Both teams put their respectable four-game win streaks on the line, but Bowling Green, who ranks No. 14 in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Poll, used a strong first quarter to keep its win streak alive.
 In a clash between the nation’s No. 15 offense and the nation’s No. 17 defense, the Falcons forced ETSU into their high-scoring style of play with 26 first quarter points. The Bucs began to catch up with a second quarter scoring advantage and a few spurts, but the Falcons did enough down the stretch to remain ahead.
 The Bucs fall to an 8-3 overall record, while the Falcons improve to 7-1.
 Graduate guard Jiselle Thomas (Norwalk, Ohio) led ETSU with 16 points, while freshman Journee McDaniel (New Bern, N.C.) added nine points and eight rebounds. The Bucs also had six triples in the first half, led by sophomore wing Meleah Kirtner (Wytheville, Va.) with nine points on 3-3 shooting.
 Lexi Fleming, who was named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List for this season, led Bowling Green with 18 points.
 HOW IT HAPPENED
 First Quarter: Bowling Green was the early aggressor, jumping to an 11-2 lead by the first media timeout with a 10-2 advantage in the paint. That lead turned into double digits by the first quarter as BGSU shot over 50 percent from the floor.
 Second Quarter: Knowing they would need a lot of points to keep up with Bowling Green’s highly-ranked offense, the Bucs began to find points behind the arc from Kirtner and fellow sophomore sharpshooter Sarah Thompson (Gate City, Va.). As the Falcons began to come back down to earth with a near-four-minute scoring drought, ETSU began to heat up and cut into the BGSU lead.
 Third Quarter: The offensive battle spilled over into the third quarter, as the teams traded points to open the second half. ETSU began to use a different three-point variety in the third quarter, as both Thomas and Jayla Ruffus-Milner (North Hills, Calif.) achieved and-one opportunities within the first four minutes. The Falcons would end up with a two-point edge in third quarter scoring to take a 14-point lead.
 Fourth Quarter: The deficit was manageable for the Bucs, but became too much to overcome in the late minute as Bowling Green took a 22-18 scoring advantage in the final frame.
 
 INSIDE THE NUMBERS
 • Graduate post Ruffus-Milner scored her 400th career point in the first half. She scored 355 points in three years at Pepperdine before joining the Bucs for the 2022-23 season.
 Bowling Green shot 32-67 from the floor (47.8 percent) and 10-25 from downtown (40 percent), while ETSU shot 21-59 (35.6) and 6-19 (31.6) from each. The Bucs went 16-19 from the charity stripe.
 Bowling Green had the advantage in points off turnovers, fast break points and points in the paint, but ETSU ended with a 17-15 scoring advantage in second chance points — including a 9-2 advantage in the second half.
 The Bucs are now 4-1 in Sunday games and 4-1 inside Brooks Gym.
 • ETSU currently has a 2-0 record in games after a loss, defeating St. Bonaventure and UAlbany after losses to No. 1 South Carolina and George Washington.
 
 COMING UP NEXT
 ETSU heads to Charleston, S.C. this coming Wednesday, Dec. 14 for a “Battle of the Bucs” as the Blue and Gold take on Charleston Southern. Opening tip is set for 6 p.m.
 
For more information on Buccaneer women’s hoops, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s basketball page.

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