SWEETNESS!!! Lady Bucs blast archrival Belmont in home finale, 102-59
Sophomore TaRonda Wiles netted a career-high 21 points.
Sophomore TaRonda Wiles netted a career-high 21 points.

Monday, February 18, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2008) - The Belmont women's basketball team will have a long ride back to Nashville after ETSU handed the Bruins their worst loss since entering the Atlantic Sun as the Lady Bucs hit the century mark Monday night inside Memorial Center, 102-59.

 

The 102 points by the Lady Buccaneers were the most scored since posting 104 against Appalachian State last season, and the most plastered on any A-Sun foe this season in conference play.

 

The win puts ETSU in sole possession of first place in the A-Sun standings since Jacksonville was idle tonight (half-game lead). ETSU closed out its home stretch with six straight wins and moved to 15-11, 11-2 in conference play, while the Bruins fell to 13-13, 7-6. This victory also marked the first time ETSU swept Belmont since joining the conference in 2005, and ended the Bruins' run as trying to repeat as regular season conference champs.

 

"We played one of our best games of basketball tonight," mentioned head coach Karen Kemp, who collected her 39th Atlantic Sun victory Monday. "I was really pleased with our all-around effort and how focused we were. We need to come out and play one game at time and let people know we are a pretty good team." 

 

Despite their early struggles during the opening four minutes, the Lady Bucs were flawless for remainder of the contest. After only hitting three of its first nine shots, ETSU quickly heated up on its home floor. The Lady Bucs received a plethora of hot hands from 3-point land and stellar post play.

 

With the Lady Bucs leading 20-14 at the 11:48 mark, ETSU closed out the half hitting a barrage of threes (five total during the stretch) and outscored Belmont 30-16; taking a 20-point lead into the locker room, 50-30. The Lady Bucs found themselves hitting treys from outside NBA range as Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) and Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga) each connected on the long bombs. The most impressive 3-pointer was when Davis hit one near the Buccaneer logo at center court, giving the Lady Bucs a 35-23 advantage.

 

After the first 20 minutes, the Lady Buccaneers were shooting a scorching 63.6 percent from behind the arc (7-11) and 50.0 percent from the floor (19-38). On the flip side, Belmont was held to a 29.6 percent shooting clip (8-27) and was out-rebounded, 24-16. ETSU's pressure defense forced the Bruins into 11 first half turnovers, resulting into 11 points on the other end. DeVault led all scorers at the break with 11, and Belmont's Brooke Sunday pitched in with eight.

 

The Lady Bucs exploded out of the gates with a blazing 7-0 run to start the second half, extending their lead to 27, 57-30, when Evans nailed her third three of the game. ETSU's charge put the Bruins into hibernation as Belmont never knew what hit them. Another run from the 15:50 mark to 12:10 remaining pushed the Lady Bucs' lead to 38, 77-39, when Jenny Norman's (Peachtree City, Ga.) lay-in capped off an 11-2 blitz. Then with four and half to go, Kemp subbed out her four seniors for one final standing ovation inside Memorial Center. Eventually ETSU saw its lead reach 47 when TaRonda Wiles' (Danville, Va.) first three-pointer of the season made it 97-50 with 3:48 left on the clock. The Lady Bucs reached the 100-point plateau on freshman Sabrina Treakle's (Richmond, Va.) free throw with 57 ticks left.

 

For the contest, ETSU hit an unbelievable and season-high 72.2 percent (13-of-18) of its three-point field goals. DeVault hit five of the season-best 13 treys, and the blistering shooting percentage marked the third highest in program history. Freshman Kami Phillips (Augusta, Ga.) guided the Lady Bucs with six of their season high 24 assists, while sophomore Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) tied her career mark with five of the 16 team steals. ETSU scored 26 points on its 23 turnovers forced and dominated the Bruins in the paint, 34-12.

 

Wiles was one of five Lady Buccaneer players to score in double figures, netting a career-high 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting. DeVault and Evans each added 17 apiece. Belcher and Norman rounded out the attack with 13. In total, 12 of the 13 ETSU players scored in the contest as the 708 ETSU faithful saw Kemp's club drain a season-best 38 field goals.

 

The Lady Bucs close out the regular season with a three-game road swing, beginning Saturday afternoon at Campbell. Tip is set for 1 p.m. inside Carter Gym.

 

For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

 

 

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