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Randall lifts Lady Bucs past UNF

March 1st, 2014 10:25 pm by Trey Williams

Randall lifts Lady Bucs past UNF

Photo/ETSU Media Relations

Shawn Randall had a senior moment she won’t forget.

East Tennessee State’s lone senior being recognized on Senior Night, Randall scored a career–high 19 points on Saturday while helping the Lady Bucs make quick work of North Florida in a 76-41 victory.

It is also expected to be the Lady Bucs’ last game using the MSHA Athletics Center as its home court. ETSU (9-18, 5-11) will return to its former Brooks Gym home next season.

Randall, a 5-foot-8 senior from Orlando, gave the Minidome a proper farewell. She scored seven points in the first 10 minutes, including a 3-pointer from the right wing, a steal and subsequent lay-up and a 17-footer after taking two dribbles to her right toward the top of the key.

“We had it set up that we were going to draw some things up for her to try and get her going early,” ETSU coach Brittney Ezell said, “and she proved that she didn’t need me.”

Actually, Randall, who’s been hampered by an injury to her non-shooting hand, said Ezell did help jump-start her by singing her praises prior to the game.

“It was really tough, especially when my coach started … talking about me,” Randall said. “It’s never really about me and I’d never really heard her, you know, just how she felt about me. So of course I had to hold back some tears.”

Randall had focus in her eyes during the game. She made 8 of 12 field goal attempts, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. She entered the game 3 of 16 from behind the arc this season.

Among her scores was an off-balance three-point play after she followed her own shot and a baseline drive that pleased the ETSU fans. She punctuated the performance by blocking Bailey Florin’s 3-point attempt with 3:50 remaining. Her final basket was  short runner with three minutes left, and she received a round of applause and a warm embrace from Ezell when she left the game with 2:09 left.

“Shawn Randall has been an integral part of the program for four years,” Ezell said. “It has been a joy to be around her. She’s been a joy to coach and I am thrilled that we were able to send her out on such a good note. …

“I think Shawn really wanted this for her teammates and not for herself. I think that’s why I adore her so much. She’s a good teammate, and we’re gonna definitely miss that energy that she brings to us.”

Randall appeared unaware of whether or not 19 points was her career high.

“I don’t even care,” Randall said. “As long as we won, that’s all I’m worried about. It’s not about me. …

“I was excited all week for this … my last game in the Dome and it’s Senior Night. And I just really wanted it for the team.”

Randall’s roommate, 6-foot-2 junior Serena Clark, was clearly inspired. She was 7 of 8 from the field and 5-for-5 at the foul line to match Clark’s 19 points, and tallied seven rebounds and three steals.

Left-handed 5-foot-7 freshman wing Shamauria Bridges scored all 14 of her points in the first half, including four 3-pointers. Her final trey came when she dashed along the baseline and flashed to the left corner to receive a pass from Adriane Vaughan, and it gave the Lady Bucs a 38-17 lead with 11 seconds left in the half.

North Florida (1-15, 5-22) shot 26 percent (13-50) from the field and was outrebounded, 42-27. ETSU got good movement without the ball. The Lady Bucs slid their feet on defense with hands up and boxed out to finish defensive possessions. 

“I think it’s been that way all year,” Ezell said. “We really haven’t come out and played to our record. And what we were trying to tell them is it’s about the process, it’s not about the record. And we’re playing well down the stretch right now. …

“Their mental preparation has been good and they’re starting to grasp what it really means to be good teammates and to be for one another.”

Tiana Burley led ETSU with eight rebounds. Chandler Christopher had a team-high four assists. Maria Bond had six points, six rebounds and three assists.

Brittney Wright scored 13 points to lead the Lady Ospreys.

ETSU visits Lipscomb on Thursday and will conclude the regular season Saturday at Northern Kentucky.

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