Don’t look now, but the East Tennessee State women’s basketball team is on a winning streak.
Tarita Gordon regained her scoring touch with 14 points, and three other ETSU players scored in double figures, as the Lady Bucs hammered Mercer 72-46 Saturday at the Minidome.
It was the second victory in a row for ETSU (3-11 overall, 2-2 Atlantic Sun).
“We played a like a Lady Buc basketball team today,” ETSU coach Karen Kemp said. “We played like we’re on a mission and that mission is to be Atlantic Sun champs.”
Gordon had scored a total of 16 points in ETSU’s last four games, seeing her average dip into single digits. It wasn’t the kind of production the Lady Bucs were expecting from the return of a senior point guard who scored 30 points in an NCAA tournament game two years ago. She had 13 in the first half on Saturday and played sparingly after halftime.
“I was just letting the game come to me,” Gordon said.
After Mercer scored the first basket, the Lady Bucs pretty much put the game away by scoring the next 13 points. Later in the first half, a 14-0 run extended their lead to 26.
ETSU led 39-16 at halftime, holding Mercer to 17-percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. The Lady Bucs’ biggest lead of the day was 34.
Destiny Mitchell added 12 points for the ETSU, while Natalie Pickwell had 11 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Maria Bond had 10 points against the school from her hometown of Macon, Ga.
“It feels great,” Bond said. “I have a lot of bragging rights when I go back home. Before the game, I talked to my mom. She was like ‘You’re playing against your home team. You have to go out and show them.’ ”
The Lady Bucs are hoping they’ve righted the ship after beginning the season 0-10.
“They had to get used to each other,” Kemp said. “We had a lot more energy, a lot more passion and we played with a lot more heart. We can’t do anything about that first part of the season. This is a new season and we need to approach it that way.”
Mercer lost its sixth game in a row and fell to 3-13, 1-4. Precious Bridges led the Bears with 10 points.
ETSU out-rebounded Mercer 59-37. Tosha Austin grabbed 12 rebounds for ETSU.
Up next for ETSU is a Monday afternoon home game against Kennesaw State.