FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2010) - Both the ETSU and Florida Gulf Coast women's basketball teams will put a pair of winning streaks on the line Thursday evening when the conference rivals battle for first-place in the Atlantic Sun standings. Tip is set for 5:15 p.m. inside Alico Arena.
The Lady Bucs, who are currently tied for the eighth longest active winning streak at nine, enter Thursday's game with a record of 13-7, 11-1 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Eagles have won 20 straight home games since falling to the Lady Bucs back on Jan. 8, 2009, and sit 17-4, 12-1. FGCU is 37-3 at home since moving to Division I (other two losses Eastern Kentucky and Florida State in 2007-08).
ETSU is coming off a 22-point win over Belmont on Monday night, 87-65. The Lady Bucs used a 21-2 run second-half to separate themselves from the Bruins - and in total - ETSU mounted a 51-12 run from the 10:22 mark of the first half to 13:36 left in the second. Six Lady Buccaneer players scored in double figures, as junior newcomer Tarita Gordon (Wichita, Kan.) led the way with 16 points. Senior Preseason Player of the Year selection Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) recorded her 45th career double-double - finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven assists.
FGCU pushed its winning streak to five straight after picking up a 67-62 win at Mercer on Monday night. Senior forward Chelsea Lyles finished with 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds in the win.
Overall, the Eagles lead the conference in scoring defense (59.4), scoring margin (+11.5), assists (18.1), turnover margin (+5.2), assist/turnover ratio (1.3) and 3-point field goals made (10.5). Individually, FGCU is led by senior preseason all-conference selection Adrianne McNally's 13.0 points per game, while she is hitting 51.1 percent of her shots.
This short-lived series has produced a ligament rivalry through only four games, as the series is knotted at 2-2. The Lady Bucs took the last meeting, 88-83, snapping FGCU's 22-game conference winning streak back on Jan. 16 inside ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. However, the Eagles won the 2008-09 A-Sun regular season title after finishing the year a game ahead of ETSU. Junior Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) scored a career-high 21 points in the five-point win in Johnson City, while Evans chipped in with 20 points and 14 rebounds. In the first four meetings, Evans is averaging 15 points and 11.5 rebounds, while the Lady Bucs are shooting 46.7 percent from the field. Also, all four games in the series have been decided by eight points or less and three by five points or less.
Fans unable to make the trip to Fort Myers can listen to all the action live, as "Voice of the Bucs" Jay Sandos will handle the play-by-play duties. Fans in Johnson City should tune into WKPT-AM (1590), WOPI-AM (1490) in Bristol, WKPT-AM (1400) in Kingsport. In addition, 94.3-FM in Kingsport, 97.9-FM in Bristol, and 97.7-FM in Johnson City will carry the game. Live video streaming is also available through ASun.TV and live stats will be offered through www.FGCUAthletics.com.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.