Bucs topple Mountaineers for historic win, 75-62
Published 9:17 am Friday, December 23, 2022
ETSU breaks school record for non-conference victories
CHEROKEE, N.C. (Dec. 22, 2022) – ETSU women’s basketball is heading into the holidays with much to celebrate, closing its non-conference Division I schedule with a 75-62 neutral site win over Mount St. Mary’s inside Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort in Cherokee, N.C. on Thursday.
The win sets a new single-season modern era record for the program with 12 non-conference wins, the most since winning 11 in the 1983-84 season. The Southern Conference began sponsoring a women’s basketball championship that same season.
ETSU used a complete effort to surge ahead after a slow start, mixing its trademark defense and rebounding with timely scoring and strong second half shooting percentages.
For the third time this season, Jiselle Thomas (Norwalk, Ohio) scored over 20 with a team-high 23 points, while three others joined her in double figures. Fellow grad student Jayla Ruffus-Milner (North Hills, Cailf.) picked up her first double-double this season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Jakhyia Davis (Knoxville, Tenn.) fell one short of her season-high in scoring, chipping in 15 points off the bench, while the returning Kendall Folley (Lebanon, Ohio) posted her season-high with 11 to go with three rebounds and three assists.
The Bucs now own a 12-3 overall record, while Mount St. Mary’s falls to 5-6 on the season. ETSU has also defeated three of last year’s NCAA tournament qualifiers this season with wins over UAlbany, Longwood and Mount St. Mary’s.
HOW IT HAPPENED
First Quarter: ETSU got off to a slow start, falling behind 10-3 in the first four and a half minutes. Rebounding, specifically on the offensive boards, kept the Bucs in striking distance as ETSU had an 8-1 advantage in offensive boards for the frame to set up five second chance points. Four of those rebounds came from Ruffus-Milner The quarter also ended with a buzzer-beating layup by Folley to pull ETSU within two.
Second Quarter: Thomas went on a personal 5-0 run early in the second quarter, giving her team its first lead of the game with 7:28 to go in the half with a drained triple to make it 21-20. ETSU did not trail the rest of the half, taking a three-point lead into the break. Thomas had nine of ETSU’s 20 points in the frame. Davis had eight first half points, while Ruffus-Milner had seven points and eight rebounds.
Third Quarter: Both teams came out scoring in the third quarter with a combined 43 points in the frame. Mount St. Mary’s worked the game back to a tie at 50-50, but ETSU went on a 7-0 run in the final three minutes to earn its largest lead of the game at the time. Ruffus-Milner had her 10th rebound with under a minute to go in the third, securing her first double-double of the season.
Fourth Quarter: ETSU extended the lead to double-digits in the fourth quarter, going on a 10-0 run midway through the final frame. Much like the Longwood game on Tuesday, ETSU held its opponent scoreless for over a five-minute period, allowing the Bucs to pull away for good with an emphatic win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Bucs dominated the paint with a 48-22 scoring advantage and a 26-2 advantage in second chance points.
The Bucs had 44 rebounds — 22 offensive and 22 defensive. The Mount had just 24 total rebounds.
The lead changed four times with seven tied score situations. The final tie came late in the third quarter at 50-50, where ETSU pulled ahead for good with a 7-0 run.
The 75 points was ETSU’s second-highest scoring total this season and the highest in games against D1 teams.
ETSU scored 20 points off 12 Mount turnovers.
ETSU led for over 24 minutes of game time, taking its first lead at 22-21 in the second quarter.
The Bucs had five blocks as a team, matching their season high in D1 games this season.
ETSU also had a D1 game season-high in field goals made, shooting 28-67 for 41.8 percent. The Mount went 22-51 from the field for 43.1 percent, taking 16 less attempts.
The Bucs had 22 points off the bench, led by Davis with 15 points. Eight Bucs made the scoresheet.
In the first 11 wins this season, ETSU held all opponents to under 60 points and under 40 percent shooting. Today marks the first win where an opponent eclipsed both totals, as ETSU used more offense this time around.
ETSU has outrebounded the opponent and led at the halftime break in all 12 wins.
The Bucs are 3-1 in neutral site games and 7-2 away from Brooks Gym.
The Mount fall to an 0-6 record in away games, with all five of their wins coming at home.
COMING UP NEXT
The Bucs will have over a week to celebrate the holidays before returning to action on New Year’s Eve, hosting Converse College inside Brooks Gym on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer women’s hoops, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s basketball page.