Opening the second quarter on a 17-3 run, the Bucs never looked back in a 71-50 Senior Day victory over Samford. After falling behind 8-1 at the start of the game, the Bucs outhustled the Bulldogs to end with a 20-6 advantage in fast-break points and a 20-13 edge for points off turnovers.
It was the final home game for seniors Snowden, Dean, Sadasia Tipps and graduate transfer Lexus Spears. ETSU improved to 8-20 overall and 6-6 in the Southern Conference
"These four seniors, it was an awesome opportunity to honor them and celebrate everything they've done for our program, not just on the basketball floor, but who they are as people," ETSU coach Brittney Ezell said. "To be able to have a win like that on their day is something they will always remember.
"Their teammates really sold out for them. These four came ready to play and they were leading from the get-go."
It was definitely the case with Snowden, a 6-foot forward, who went 6-of-10 from the field and finished with 16 points.
"I think my teammates defensively fed off my energy and they were looking to get the ball back to me," Snowden said. "Once I got going, I know Lex, Tipps and Raven got going as well."
It wasn't just the seniors who enjoyed Saturday's game. It was a big day for the underclassmen, particularly sophomore guard Erica Haynes-Overton — who had 16 points, seven rebounds, six steals and four assists. Micah Scheetz added 11 points after going scoreless in the first half.
Dean, a 6-foot-1 forward, accounted for another 10 points and eight rebounds.
"This game just means go much to me," Dean said. "I love playing in Brooks. I love the atmosphere and the energy. It's definitely something I'm going to miss. To get this win with my team, to come out with the focus and to play hard, it means a lot to me."
Truly winning the battle on the inside, ETSU held a 52-24 advantage in the paint.
Samford (9-18, 4-8) was led by Shauntai Battle with 17 points and Cassidy Williams with 10. The Bulldogs had beaten the Bucs by 21 points a month earlier in Birmingham, but had no answer as ETSU's defense held them to 19-of-53 (35.8 percent) from the field.
"Coach Keisha McClinic had the scout for Samford and she did a remarkable kid of showing the kids their tendencies," Ezell said. "You can't guard that because it's a read and react offense. Trying to teach the Princeton offense in one day… But, the kids bought in and listened. These four seniors did a phenomenal job directing traffic from the back line. I don't know if I've ever been as proud of a unit."
ETSU finishes off the regular season with road games at Western Carolina on Thursday and UNC Greensboro next Saturday. The Southern Conference tournament starts on Thursday, March 7 at Asheville.