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Lady Bucs face difficult test on season-opening road swing
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Lady Buccaneers are coming off a season where they earned their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament after claiming both Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament championship. Along the way, ETSU set school records in points scored (2,478) and rebounds (1,360), as well as tying the all-time single-season wins mark with 21 victories.
However, last season is now in the past and a new year is upon the Lady Bucs, and their opening test will not come easy. First, ETSU takes on co-regular season Missouri Valley Conference Champions,
ETSU was able to shake some rust off two weeks ago as they took on University of the Cumberlands in its lone exhibition contest. The Lady Bucs struggled in the opening 20 minutes of play, but ETSU came out focused in the second half to down the Patriots, 82-67, inside
Like the Lady Bucs,
Fans unable to make the trip north to
Below are Lady Buccaneer notes for Saturday's game
ETSU leads the short-lived series, 1-0, with the Lady Bucs defeating the Purple Aces, 77-74, on Nov. 24, 2007 inside
Let's Get it Started
Tonight marks the 41st season for Lady Buccaneer basketball. ETSU has posted a 21-19 record in their previous 40 season openers. With a victory this evening, the Lady Bucs will make it three wins in their last five regular season openers.
Kemp Eyeing 200
Head coach Karen Kemp enters the 2008-09 season in search of an important milestone Kemp is currently six wins shy of reaching the 200-win mark over the last three seasons Kemp has posted 59 victories and the Lady Bucs are in search of their first-ever fourth consecutive winning season Kemp currently has posted a program-best 194 victories in her career.
Countdown to 1,000
Junior Siarre Evans has built an impressive resume over her first two seasons as a Lady Buc the Griffin, Ga. native was named Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year, First Team All-Conference and Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team in her rookie season, and last season the sophomore was named First Team All-Conference and Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team Evans enters this season only 184 points shy of becoming the 16th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau the junior guard/forward was also a unanimous selection the 2008-09 Preseason All-Conference Team.
Lady Bucs Tabbed the A-Sun Favorite
For the first time since joining the Atlantic Sun Conference, the ETSU Lady Bucs were selected the league favorite in both the coaches and media polls ETSU is also looking to become the first team since Georgia State (2001-03) to repeat as conference champions.
Calling all Seniors?
ETSU's rosters consists of four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen, however, the Lady Bucs do not have a single senior on their team the Lady Bucs are one of two team in the Atlantic Sun to not post at least one senior on their roster, with the other team being Florida Gulf Coast.
The Schedule of all Schedules
When fans look at ETSU's 2008-09 regular season slate they may be asking themselves what coach Kemp was thinking, as the Lady Bucs' schedule features seven teams who appeared in postseason play a year ago ETSU hosts 12th-ranked and SEC favorite Vanderbilt, and travels to Evansville (WNIT participant), Chattanooga (NCAA participant), Georgia (NCAA participant), Kentucky (WNIT participant), Liberty (NCAA participant) and Florida Gulf Coast (WNIT participant) of the Lady Bucs' eight non-conference opponents, six of them played in the postseason last year.
New Season, New Faces
With a new season upon us the Lady Buccaneer family has some new faces, as coach Kemp brought in four new players and two coaches to her staff. Natalie Pickwell (
The ETSU women's basketball team is entering unfamiliar territory with its visit to
went winless (0-2) by falling to
Home Court Advantage
The Lady Bucs have won 29 of their last 37 home games; including 23 of their last 27 conference home contents ETSU carries a six-game home winning streak into the 2008-09 season throughout that six-game win streak, the Lady Buccaneers defeated the opposition by over 23 points (81.5 to 58.3) and forced the opponents into 24 turnovers as well.
The Lady Bucs made history last season as they went on a roll and won the Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament championships - resulting in their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. ETSU also set team records for most points scored in a season (2,478), rebounds (1,360), steals in a single-game (24, vs. Campbell), and tied program records for single-season wins (21) and consecutive wins in a season (8).
With ETSU being tabbed the conference favorite; the Lady Bucs will now venture out and look to become the first team since
Belcher's Seeing Double
Last season Latisha Belcher posted three double-doubles in 33 games, and the junior post quickly carried the success over into this campaign as she posted a double-double effort in the Lady Bucs' lone exhibition game against Cumberlands. Belcher finished the night with 11 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes versus the Patriots. The
Junior guard/forward TaRonda Wiles enjoyed a break-out season as a sophomore. The versatile player nearly doubled her output in every statistical category and looks to carry the momentum into her third season as a Lady Buc. Wiles played in all 33 games (started 32) and averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in 27.3 minutes a year ago. The
For the second straight year Siarre Evans was named to the Preseason All-Conference Team. In her first two years, the
Pack the House
The Lady Bucs will look to "Pack the House" on Friday, Nov. 21, when ETSU hosts 12th ranked Vanderbilt in its home opener. ETSU tries to break the attendance record - which was set at 1,236 - when the Lady Buccaneers defeated Kennesaw State, 81-77, on Feb. 2, 2008.
A Look Ahead
Following the trip north, the Lady Bucs continue on their difficult season-opening trip as they head back South to take on longtime in-state rival
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.