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Minus Haynes-Overton, ETSU women fall to Radford

Joe Avento • Nov 21, 2019 at 7:20 PM

JOHNSON CITY — Erica Haynes-Overton could only sit and watch as her East Tennessee State teammates took on Radford in a Thursday morning matinee.

She certainly couldn’t have liked what she saw.

With the ETSU star out indefinitely with a knee injury, Radford pulled away for a 67-43 victory over the Bucs in a nonconference women’s basketball game at Brooks Gym. An enthusiastic crowd of schoolchildren were on hand for the annual Education Day game.

“We have to realize she’s not coming back, not anytime soon if this year at all,” ETSU coach Brittney Ezell said. “We have to have some other people step forward. We only had one person in double figures. You have to have two or three. You can’t replace Erica with one person. It has to be by committee.”

Micah Scheetz scored 13 points to lead ETSU (1-4), going 4-for-16 from the field. The Bucs shot 26% and hit just 2 of 15 shots from 3-point range.

Haynes-Overton, who scored 41 against Tennessee, was averaging 22.8 points per game. As much as the Bucs missed her offense, the defensive end was where her absence might have hurt the most. She was averaging nearly five steals a game and those steals usually led to easy offense for herself or her teammates.

Radford led 29-19 at halftime, and ETSU had yet to make a steal. By the end of the third quarter, there still were no steals on the ETSU stat sheet. The Bucs finished with three steals and turned the ball over 20 times.

“I think we just miss Erica’s presence,” Ezell said. “When Erica’s on the floor, she’s a threat at any point to explode and get a steal or a big basket. We don’t have that right now. We tried to manage them the best we could. We weren’t ready for the challenge.

“It wasn’t a lack of preparation. It wasn’t a lack of knowledge. It was a little bit of the fear factor involved today.”

The Bucs had a 3-pointer in the air that would have cut their deficit to three  late in the third quarter, but Radford (2-2) outscored them 24-9 in the fourth.

Bryonna McClean led the Highlanders with 14 points. Khiana Johnson added 11 points and had 10 assists.

ETSU hosts UNC-Asheville on Saturday before going to Appalachian State on Monday.