Lady Bucs fall in final seconds to Chattanooga
Published 9:49 am Friday, January 6, 2023
Mocs snap ETSU’s five-game win streak
JOHNSON CITY – ETSU women’s basketball charged back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie at the buzzer, but a game-tying three fell short in a 53-50 loss to in-state rival Chattanooga inside Brooks Gym on Thursday.
Down 47-34 with 7:49 remaining, ETSU went on a 16-4 run to pull within one at 51-50 with under 30 seconds to go. Graduate guard Jiselle Thomas (Norwalk, Ohio) – who led the team in scoring – made a clutch steal on the ensuing inbound to set up a potential go-ahead score, but Chattanooga made the stop and extended the lead with two made free throws.
The Bucs rushed down the court with under five seconds to go and heaved up a running three just behind the arc, but the shot banked off the glass and out as time expired.
ETSU — the No. 20 ranked team in the College Insider Mid-Major Top-25 Poll — falls to 13-4 overall in its Southern Conference opener. The loss also snaps a five-game winning streak — the longest for ETSU since the 2017-18 season.
Meanwhile, Chattanooga improves to 9-7 overall and 1-0 in league play.
Thomas tied Chattanooga’s Yazz Wazeerud-Din with a game-high 19 points, while sophomore Kendall Folley (Lebanon, Ohio) added 12 points — seven of which came in the last-ditch fourth quarter effort.
HOW IT HAPPENED
First Quarter: Chattanooga took an 18-11 lead in the opening quarter. ETSU started with a 6-4 lead early in the game, but a 10-0 run by Chattanooga put the Bucs behind early. The run ended with a three-pointer by sophomore Courtney Moore (Gainesville, Fla.), who now has had a three-point basket in each of the last six games.
Second Quarter: The Mocs extended the lead to double digits with a quick three-pointer, but ETSU went on a 9-2 run late in the second quarter to pull back within four at 26-22. ETSU couldn’t keep up that offensive success in the final three minutes, as the Mocs pulled to a 30-22 lead at the break. Thomas had 13 points at the break, including nine in the second frame.
Third Quarter: ETSU started the third quarter on a 5-0 run, but Chattanooga responded and maintained the lead through three. After having just two offensive rebounds in the first half, UTC finished with five offensive rebounds in the third quarter alone, but could not convert any into second chance points. Both teams stepped up defensively in the third quarter, forcing the other to struggle from the floor, but Chattanooga went 5-6 from the charity stripe to build an advantage. Folley and Moore both hit three-pointers for ETSU.
Fourth Quarter: The lead grew to 13 for Chattanooga, but the Bucs and the crowd began to rally back behind the team’s bread and butter — defense. The Mocs went just 2-9 from the floor in the final quarter, as ETSU used a 16-4 run over a seven-minute span to pull back within one. Meanwhile, ETSU shot 7-14 from the floor. The Mocs had three more points from the free throw line in the last quarter in the three point win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Bucs finished the day shooting 19-59 for 32.2 percent, while Chattanooga shot 17-50 for 34.0 percent. Despite more baskets, ETSU had one less three-pointer (6 to 5) and six less points at the free throw line as Chattanooga went 13-16 and ETSU went 7-9 at the line.
ETSU won the turnover battle with 18 takeaways and 11 giveaways. ETSU has had 12 turnovers or less in the last four games.
The Bucs had a 13-6 advantage in points off turnovers and a 7-4 advantage in second chance points.
The Bucs were outrebounded for just the fourth time this season, 40-34. ETSU is 13-0 when outrebounding the opponent and 0-4 when the opponent has more rebounds. Both ETSU and Chattanooga are among the SoCon’s top three teams in rebound margin.
The Bucs had an 11-10 advantage in offensive rebounding. The Mocs had eight of theirs in the second half.
ETSU outscored Chattanooga 24-18 in the paint.
ETSU’s starting five combined for 48 points.
True freshman Journee McDaniel (New Bern, N.C.) pulled in her 100th career rebound in just her 15th collegiate game.
Courtney Moore has 14 three-pointers made in the last six games.
ETSU now holds a 3-1 record in Thursday games.
ETSU now owns a 6-2 record at home and will play both games next week in Johnson City — on Thursday in Brooks Gym and on Saturday at Freedom Hall.
COMING UP NEXT
ETSU’s four game home stand continues next week as the Bucs welcome Mercer to Brooks Gym on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. The first 250 fans will receive a free ETSU-branded flag.
For more information on Buccaneer women’s hoops, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s basketball page.