Second half struggles doom Lady Bucs against Appalachian State, 75-56

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mountaineers snap ETSU's 12-game home winning streak
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2010) - Lacking the passion and heart it takes to win a basketball game, the ETSU women's basketball team saw its 12-game home winning streak come to an abrupt halt as Appalachian State completely outplayed the Lady Bucs in the second half, and the Mountaineers cruised to a 75-56 victory over the Blue and Gold Friday night inside the MSHA Athletic Center.
After keeping things close in the first half, the Lady Bucs were outscored 42-25 in the final 20 minutes as Appalachian State shot 60.7 percent (17-28) en route to picking up its first win in Johnson City since Feb. 3, 2003. With the victory, the Mountaineers improved to 3-1, while the Lady Bucs suffered their first defeat in 2010-11 and dropped to 2-1.
Fresh off being named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week on Tuesday, senior Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) paced the Lady Bucs with a game-high 20 points, while freshman Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) continued to play well after registering 11 points and eight rebounds.
"We knew Appalachian State was a very good basketball team, but the most disappointing part of the game was how we didn't play with a lot of passion and heart out there tonight," commented head coach Karen Kemp, whose team now embarks on a four-game road trip beginning Monday night at Ohio State. "They completely took us out of our game and their zone was very effective for the entire 40 minutes. I want to credit them for playing a great game, and now we need to get ready for Ohio State on Monday night."
Both teams played a contrasting style in the opening 20 minutes as the Lady Bucs lived by the outside shot, while the Mountaineers dominated in the paint. In a half that was tightly contested as neither team led by as many as eight, Appalachian State outscored ETSU, 28-6 in the paint; however, the Lady Bucs hit four three-pointers compared to the Mountaineers going 0-for-4.
The Lady Bucs got off to sluggish start, missing on seven of their first nine attempts and Appalachian State opened up to a 9-4 lead at the 15:36 mark. From there the Mountaineers extended their margin to eight, 15-7, after Sam Ramirez laid one in with less than 12 minutes left before the break. ETSU continued to fight back and eventually grabbed its first lead since the 18:12 mark when freshman Jasmine McIntosh (Bowie, Md.) sank a three with 4:48 showing on the clock. The Lady Bucs were able to open a three-point advantage (26-23); unfortunately, Appalachian State came back and led 33-31 at the half.
Davis led all players with 12 points at the break, while Anna Freeman and Ashlen Dewart paced the visitors from Boone with eight apiece. Despite being outscored in the paint, ETSU took advantage of eight forced turnovers as the Lady Bucs turned them into 15 points on the offensive end. 
Unfortunately the Lady Bucs didn't make any adjustments in the second half and Appalachian State continued to score at ease in the paint as 26 of its 42 points came from the area in the final stanza.
ETSU managed to hold a pair of one-point leads early on in the second; however, with the Lady Bucs ahead 41-40 at the 15:26 mark, Appalachian State mounted an impressive 27-7 run over the next 10-plus minutes to open a 19-point lead, 67-49. The Lady Bucs never had an answer for the Mountaineers' surge and Appalachian State walked away with the 19-point non-conference victory.
Appalachian State, who entered the game shooting 48.9 percent as a team, finished 33-of-64 (51.6 percent) and the Mountaineers outscored ETSU in the paint, 54 to 22. The Mountaineers out-rebounded the Blue and Gold, 45 to 28, while also hitting on all eight of their free throw attempts. Meanwhile, the Lady Bucs - who lead the A-Sun in free throw shooting at 74.5 percent - finished an uncharacteristic 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) at the charity stripe. The lone positive for ETSU at the line was Davis' 8-for-8 effort. Davis has now hit 33 consecutive freebies dating back to last season.
Appalachian State had five players score in double figures as Freeman led the way with 18 points.
The Lady Bucs have a quick turnaround as ETSU faces seventh-ranked Ohio State Monday night. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside Value City Arena.
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