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Dominant fourth quarter propels Bucs past Mocs, 61-55

Tiana Tarter pulls down a rebound in ETSU's win over UTC (WTVC)

After being behind by 16, ETSU’s fourth quarter surge lifted them past the Mocs to earn a six-point win, 61-55. The Bucs outscored the Mocs 21-8 in the fourth quarter. ETSU now improves to 15-10 and 8-2 in the SoCon, while UTC drops to 15-9 and 6-4 in the SoCon.

Inside the Numbers

• This is the first time since 1997-98 that the Bucs have swept UTC in two regular season games.

• ETSU now holds a 4-7 record when trailing at the half.

• Tianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) finished with the team-high of 27 points. She recorded her fourth double-double of the season and her 16th in her career after tallying 10 rebounds. She also had five assists and three steals.

• This is now Tarter’s 23rd performance scoring in double figures, her eighth performance when finishing with 20 or more points, and the 12th time this season she has been the Bucs’ leading scorer.

• Erica Haynes-Overton (Nasvhille, Tenn.) recorded 12 points and three steals.

• Malloree Schurr (Montgomery, Texas) had five points and seven rebounds, while Shy Copney (Johnson City, Tenn.) had two threes.

• UTC outrebounded ETSU 41-37, but the Bucs had more steals with a ratio of 11-4.

• UTC was led by Keiana Gilbert and Lakelyn Bouldin, who both finished in double figures. Gilbert had the team high of 27 and Bouldin had 14 points and eight rebounds.

• UTC’s Arianne Whitaker had the team high of 16 rebounds.

First Quarter

• UTC scored first before Malloree Schurr tied the game 2-2 with a jumper.

• From there, UTC got off to a hot start, as they went on an 11-0 run. The Mocs’ Lakelyn Bouldin went 4-4 in field goals during this time.

• Erica Haynes-Overton ended a four-minute scoring drought with a layup.

• UTC’s free throw gave the Mocs a 10-point lead, but Tarter made two free throws to cut the deficit.

• Tarter had an open drive in the lane, followed by a Sadasia Tipps (Hickory, N.C.) jumper to put the Bucs within five.

• UTC’s Bria Dial drained a three-pointer as time ran out on the clock to give the Mocs an 18-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

• Tarter got off to a strong second quarter after making two free throws. She had back-to-back steals and layups to keep the Bucs in the game.

• Both teams were scoreless for two minutes.

• Tarter drove to the hoop for another layup, but UTC hit a three to put the score at 25-18.

• Raven Dean (Charlotte, N.C.) hit a three to get the Bucs back within five.

• Back-to-back layups by UTC gave them a nine-point lead heading into the half, 29-20.

Third Quarter

• A UTC free throw and layup put the Mocs up by 11, but Tarter cut that down after draining a three.

• Haynes-Overton hit back-to-back jumpers before UTC went on an 8-0 run.

• UTC would extend their run to 12-2, but the Bucs fought back with their own 11-0 run.

• ETSU hit three three-pointers in a row. It all started with Malloree Schurr, followed by Copney, and ended with Tarter. This put the Bucs within five.

• UTC ended the third quarter with free throws. The score was 47-40 at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

• Alayjah Sherer (Tupelo, Miss.) started the scoring for the Bucs with a three to get ETSU within six.

• Haynes-Overton hit both free throws and then Shy Copney came up big for the Bucs after she drained a three, which put the Bucs within two.

• Haynes-Overton tied the game with a layup and Tarter gave the Bucs their first lead of the game after she made a layup.

• UTC quickly took back their lead after hitting a three.

• Tarter was fouled and made a free throw to tie the game at 53.

• Tarter continued her dominance after she made another layup to put the Bucs ahead, 55-53.

• Tarter went up for a three and was fouled with 50.9 seconds remaining. She made two of three foul shots to give the Bucs a 57-53 lead.

• UTC called a timeout and came out of the timeout with a layup.

• Tarter ran down the clock and made a terrific pass to Britney Snowden down low and she made the layup to give the Bucs a 59-55 lead.

• UTC called timeout to advance the ball. They dribbled around the arc, but the Bucs jumped on a loose ball and won the possession.

• Haynes-Overton was fouled with .7 seconds remaining. She made both free throws to secure the Bucs’ 61-55 win.

Up Next

ETSU returns home to host Wofford on Thursday, Feb. 15 for Education Day. Tip-off is set for 11:00 a.m.

Post-Game Quotes

“First of all, congratulations to coach Jim Foster on his 900th win,” said head coach Brittney Ezell. “It was an honor to be here and see them celebrate such an amazing career accomplishment. It’s pretty phenomenal. I’ve seen it from his time in Philadelphia, to Vanderbilt, to Ohio State and now to here. It’s a lot to be admired. As for the game, there’s no other word to describe it than tough. We did not play well in the first half. They took an earful at halftime and then came back out with a different inspiration. They even went down by 16 late in the third, but we showed a lot of toughness, especially at the guard position. We played five guards to try to change the tempo, but I can’t say enough about Tianna, and Shy, and Malloree hits a big shot. Sadasia Tipps was incredible on the defensive end. That’s a good basketball team we just beat. It was great having Erica back. Again, it’s been a game that we didn’t have our full roster. We found a way and the credit belongs to those kids and to our assistant coaches, who did a great job of staying with it. I’m thrilled for our kids. I’m thrilled for Buc fans and I’m ready to be back in Johnson City.”

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