DeLAND, Fla. — East Tennessee State is still winless on the women’s basketball court this season.
The Lady Bucs fell to 0-7 after a second-half rally came up short against Stetson on Thursday in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both teams at the Edmunds Center.
ETSU trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half and by 11 at the break, and fought back to tie the game twice in the second, but never could overtake the Hatters. The loss to the Hatters was the first since Dec. 1, 1995, as ETSU had won its last 12 consecutive games against Stetson.
“Despite being down early, I thought we played well in the first half and came out with some more energy in the second half, but we just couldn’t get over the hump,” ETSU head coach Karen Kemp said. “In the end, we put them on the free throw line way too much as they were in the bonus midway through the second half, and we couldn’t even get into the bonus.”
Senior guard Tarita Gordon scored 15 of her team-high 20 points in the second half, while Destiny Mitchell added 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. Natalie Pickwell just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
“Tarita has struggled early on this season, but she provided us with a spark today and we need this to continue,” Kemp said. “We have been telling Tarita to keep her head up over the last couple games and today she did that. She played really hard when she was out there this afternoon and it showed.”
The Lady Bucs shot 33.3 percent (23-for-69) from the field and 3-of-12 from 3-point range. Stetson went to the foul line 17 more times in the second half than ETSU, going 15-of-22 to the Lady Bucs’ 3-of-5. The Hatters went 17-for-26 at the line for the game, while ETSU was 11-for-15. ETSU also outrebounded Stetson 50-34.
Shanasa Sanders led Stetson with 22 points. McGowan — the league’s third-highest scorer — was held to seven points on 1-of-6 shooting.
ETSU continues its Florida road swing with another A-Sun game on Saturday against reigning regular-season champion Florida Gulf Coast. Tip is 7:30 p.m. at Alico Arena in Fort Myers.