JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 16, 2009) - ETSU's NBA type schedule finally comes to an end Saturday afternoon, when the Lady Bucs host Lipscomb at 1:30 p.m. inside Memorial Center.
The Lady Bucs will be playing their seventh game in the last 15 days on Saturday, and ETSU looks to end this demanding schedule on a high note by going 6-1 over this stretch.
ETSU - who began the long slate with an 86-77 win over Jacksonville on Jan. 3 - has gone on to defeat UNF, FGCU, Stetson and Belmont over this impressive run. The most recent victory was a 69-51 over instate rival Belmont on Thursday night, where junior forward TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) went off for a career high 31 points.
Wiles has been one of the key components during this six-game stretch, as she is averaging 17.2 points per game and has connected on 46 of ETSU's 150 field goals. In addition, fellow juniors Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) and Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) have played important roles as well. Belcher is posting 13.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 steals; while Evans is pitching in with 10.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the last six games. While the Lady Bucs' three-headed monster has helped pace ETSU, freshman Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) has continued to work harder and harder when she hits the floor. Washington is coming off back-to-back double-double efforts the last two games, and has been a key addition to the Lady Buccaneer starting lineup since ETSU knocked off Kentucky back on Dec. 12. Since joining the starting five, the Lady Bucs are 7-2 during that stretch - including a perfect 5-0 in conference play.
Lipscomb got off to a bumpy start in the early season but has slowly turned things around over the last three games. After dropping 11 of their first 13 games, the Lady Bisons have won two of the last three contests - including a 76-66 win at Belmont on Monday night. Lipscomb had its two-game winning streak snapped on Thursday night, but fought hard in the 59-54 loss at USC Upstate. The Lady Bisons had a five-point lead at the half, but were outscored 34-24 in the final 20 minutes. Sophomore post Cree Nix had a career night, notching 17 points and 13 rebounds, both marking personal bests. Fellow sophomore guard Jenna Bartsokas leads the team in scoring (12.8), while Jilian Partin has been consistent - averaging 9.1 points and 6.4 rebounds over the first 16 games.
The Lady Bucs defeated Lipscomb three times last season - including an 84-66 victory over the Lady Bisons in the Atlantic Sun Tournament in Nashville. ETSU has a 7-1 edge in the season series, with the lone loss coming two years ago inside Allen Arena (57-52).
Reserved seat tickets for Lady Buccaneer Basketball games are $5 for adults and $3 for children 17 and under. ETSU students are admitted to games free of charge with a valid ETSU ID.
Tickets are available on game days at the center gate on the upper concourse, and can be purchased in advance by calling the ETSU Ticket Office at 423-439-3878 or online at ETSUBucs.com. Tickets can also be picked up in person at the ETSU Ticket Office in the Memorial Center from 8:30-4:30 from Monday through Friday.
Fans who bring an old pair of eyeglasses will receive $1 admission, which ties into the Lion's Club Eyeglass Recycling Program.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.