MACON, Ga. (Nov. 30, 2006) - After being upset by Mercer in last year's Atlantic Sun Tournament, the ETSU women's basketball team came out with something to prove, as they defeated the Bears 56-29 in its A-Sun opener Thursday evening. The Lady Bucs set a school record by only giving up 29 points. The previous record was set in the 1973-74 season when they only gave up 31 against Carson Newman and Milligan (back-to-back games).
Lady Bucs have now won three of their last four games, including back-to-back wins for the first time this season. ETSU improves to 3-4 overall, 1-0 in the A-Sun, while Mercer falls to 1-5, 0-1.
ETSU put together its best 20 minutes of basketball this season as they took a 31-12 lead into the locker room. The 19-point lead was the Lady Bucs largest lead at the break this season. The Lady Bucs opened up to an early 10-4 lead at the first media timeout with 14:29 remaining, and continued to build the lead from there. The Lady Bucs defense was the one of many highlights in the half as they held Mercer to a season-low three field goals and 12 points. ETSU built a 21-point advantage, 31-10, with 1:24 to go until the break, marking its largest lead of the half. Kelly Turman (Atlanta) enjoyed her trip back to Georgia as she was a perfect four-for-four in the first half, and finished with a game-high 12 points.
Despite only shooting 25 percent (6-24) in the second half, the Lady Bucs were able to control their 19-point halftime lead by holding the Bears to 23.8 percent shooting (5-21). ETSU held Mercer without a field goal in the final 6:51 of the contest to build its largest lead and victory of the season at 27 points. Mercer would get to within 17 points, 43-26, but the Lady Bucs held the Bears to only three points in the final 6:51 of the contest. The Lady Bucs closed out the contest with a 13-3 run.
The Lady Bucs outrebounded the Bears 46-24, as well as holding Mercer without a three-point field goal for the game. Senior Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) moved ahead of Marsha Cowart (1980-83) for sixth on the all-time assists list in Lady Bucs history. Another Georgia native, Jenny Norman (Peachtree City) grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, while adding seven points.
The Lady Bucs will play their third consecutive road game this week as they head to DeLand, Fla., to take on Stetson on Saturday. Tip is set for 4:30 inside the Edmunds Center.