BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Nov. 17, 2007) - Samford outscored the Lady Buccaneers by 17 points in the second half, and drained a school-record 15 three-pointers en route to a 91-72 victory over ETSU in the third and final game of the Preseason WNIT from the Pete Hanna Center. With the loss, ETSU drops to 1-2 on the early season; while Samford improves to 3-1.
Despite the loss sophomore Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) kept rolling with her double-double efforts this season. Evans has accomplished the feat in all three games, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds Saturday evening. Sophomore guard TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) ended the contest with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists, including a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Senior Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) posted her third straight double figure scoring night on the campaign, as she posted all 11 of her points in the first 20 minutes.
The bad news for ETSU was they allowed career nights for two Samford players. Emily London scored 20 (4-of-6 from three-point range); while Chika Okoli ended with a career best in points (10) and rebounds (7). Alex Munday led all scorers with 23 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 from three and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
The Lady Bucs stormed out of the gate in the first half as they hit nine of their first 14 shots. ETSU quickly opened on an 11-3 run, thanks to stellar play from Evans and freshman point guard Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). However, the three-point shot kept Samford alive, as eight of its first 10 field goals made came from beyond the arc. ETSU would continue to hold the lead, until a three-pointer and a lay-up by London gave the home team a 30-29 advantage with 5:46 remaining in the half. From there, the rest of the half was tightly contested with Samford extending its lead to four three times, but Kelly Turman's (Atlanta, Ga.) jumper with two seconds on the clock made it 41-39 at the break.
Both teams shot the ball well during the first 20 minutes. ETSU finished with a 51.7 (15-29) shooting percentage, compared to 48.4 (15-31) percent by Samford. Nine of the 15 field goals came from beyond the arc for the Bulldogs. London led all scorers at the half with 14; while DeVault was the leading scorer for the Lady Bucs at 11. Once again ETSU shot the ball well from the free throw line, going 6-for-7 (85.7 percent) and held a slight advantage on the boards, 17-16.
The threes continued to keep falling for Samford in the second half, as they opened the first nine minutes and thirty-five seconds on a 24-7 run and never looked back. The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 20, 74-54, when Monica Maxwell hit her fourth and final three of the night. Samford's lead would balloon to 30, 88-58, when Okoli connected on a free throw at the 3:13 mark; however, the Lady Buccaneers ended on a respectable 14-3 run to fall by 19.
Samford finished 50 percent (28-56) from the floor, compared to 40 percent (26-65) by ETSU. The Bulldogs bettered themselves from beyond the arc, finishing 55.6 percent (15-27) from long range. ETSU did out-rebound Samford, 42-32, and shot 85 percent (17-20) from the charity stripe.
ETSU will now prepare for its home opener Tuesday night when the Lady Bucs host instate rival UT Chattanooga. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. inside Memorial Center. Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball and all other ETSU athletic news.