BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Nov. 16, 2007) - Despite making only one field goal in the overtime frame the ETSU women's basketball team excelled where it counted most, as the Lady Buccaneers connected on 10-of-12 from the charity stripe to pick up a 75-72 victory over Delaware State in the Preseason WNIT Samford consolation bracket Friday evening from Pete Hanna Arena.
Sophomore sensation Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) helped guide ETSU to its first win of the campaign, as she finished with her second straight double-double this season (10th of her career). The Griffin, Ga. native ended the evening with 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, becoming the first Lady Buccaneer player to record 15-plus rebounds since Candace Gibson accomplished the feat at Western Kentucky on Dec. 11, 2005.
Holding a 15-point lead with 8:29 left in regulation everything seemed to be control for ETSU; however, Delaware State had other plans for the Lady Buccaneers. The Lady Hornets closed out the remainder of the half on a 26-11 run to force overtime.
In overtime the Lady Bucs took an early two-point advantage, 65-63, thanks to free throws from Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) with 4:25 on the clock. However, Delaware State's Selena Galloway came through on a three-point play, giving the Lady Hornets their first lead of the contest, 66-65. The good news for ETSU was it would the first and only time Delaware State would hold an advantage in the game. Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) gave the Lady Bucs the lead for good when she hit two free throws with 3:49 remaining in the ball game. After the free throws Delaware State would get to within one on three separate occasions, but DeVault's freebies with eight seconds remaining lifted the Lady Buccaneers to the 75-72 victory.
Four other ETSU players scored double figures along with Evans. DeVault finished with 16 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Norman was also perfect from the charity stripe (4-of-4) and ended the evening with a 14-point, nine-rebound effort. The nine rebounds matched Norman's career high. Rounding out the scoring attack for the Lady Bucs was a pair of Virginia natives. TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) and Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) each pitched in with 11. Freshman Kami Phillips (Augusta, Ga.) had six of ETSU's 17 assists in only nine minutes of action. Delaware State (0-2) saw three reach double figures in scoring as Raquel Collier led the way with 19 points.
As a team ETSU dominated the glass as they out-rebounded Delaware State, 58-38, including 23 on the offensive end. The Lady Bucs also crushed the Lady Hornets at the free throw line, shooting 80 percent (24-30) to only 63.3 percent (19-30). Neither team shot the ball well in the contest with ETSU finishing at 36.9 percent (24-of-65) to 33.3 percent (24-72) by the Lady Hornets.
In the first half, the Lady Buccaneers quickly went to business by opening the contest with an 8-0 run. ETSU connected on four of its first five shots, including a pair of threes. Delaware State would cut the deficit to four, 9-5, but that is as close as they would come in the half. The Lady Bucs pushed their lead to double digits for the first time of the game, when Norman scored her first points of the season on a lay-up at the 13:06 mark. ETSU's lead would hover around 10 for the remainder of the half, until Wiles' jumper gave the Lady Bucs a 32-20 lead at the break.
It was the Evans and DeVault show in the first half as the two combined for 20 of ETSU's 32 points. Evans led all scorers with 12 at the break, while DeVault chipped in eight on 3-of-3 shooting. Collier led the Lady Hornets with six points after the first 20 minutes. The Lady Bucs limited Delaware State to only six first half field goals, and an ice-cold 18.2 shooting percentage. On the other hand, ETSU hit a blistering 58.3 percent (14-24), including 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) with four minutes and twenty-five seconds remaining until half.
The Lady Bucs now await the winner of the Samford/Princeton contest (currently in progress). Tip is scheduled to go off 30 minutes after the first game, which is set at 6:30 p.m. ET. Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball and all other ETSU athletic news.