Davis nets 21, Pickwell drains career-high six threes in 15-point victory
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 20, 2010) - Senior Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) scored a game-high 21 points and junior guard Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) made a career-high six three-pointers, and the ETSU women's basketball team snapped a five-game losing skid with a 76-61 victory over Campbell Monday night inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
ETSU, who was playing its first game since Dec. 8, showed no signs of rust and the Lady Bucs improved to 3-5, 1-1 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Camels suffered their ninth defeat in ten tries this season and moved to 0-2 in conference play.
Pickwell, who scored all 18 of her points in the first half, finished one rebound shy of her first career double-double. Joining Davis and Pickwell in double figures was freshman Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) as she finished with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
"We played a great first half and I think it was the excitement of playing at home, said head coach Karen Kemp, whose Lady Bucs returned home for the first time since Nov. 19. "We have been on the road for four straight, and it felt good to have the opportunity to be back on our home floor. Natalie shot the ball very well for us on the road and she continued to do the same for us tonight. We came out in the first half with a lot of energy - and when those first couple threes went in - it was contagious and everyone was knocking down shots."
Pickwell picked up right where she left off from at Chapel Hill as she knocked down two quick threes, and a Mitchell lay-in 12 seconds later put the Lady Bucs up 8-2, with only one minute, six seconds coming off the clock. The Lady Bucs continued to make it rain from beyond the arc as Davis joined the fun and Pickwell's third consecutive trey of the half extended ETSU's lead to 10, 14-4, forcing Campbell to burn a 30-second timeout at the 17:17 mark.
ETSU continued controlling the pace as its swarming defense and lights-out shooting wreaked havoc on the Camels.
The Lady Bucs connected on 11 of their first 15 field goal attempts and opened a 19-point lead, 30-11, thanks to a Davis lay-in with 11:14 showing on the clock. Eventually ETSU saw its advantage soar to 24, but a 10-0 Campbell run cut the Lady Buccaneer lead to 14, 37-23, after Jessica Moore drove in for a lay-up with 4:14 left before the break. However, the Lady Bucs didn't let the Camels inch any closer - and just as Pickwell began the game with a three - the Kingsport, Tenn. native netted her sixth trey in the final seconds, giving ETSU a 52-31 lead at the half.
In the first half, Pickwell and Davis combined for 32 of the Lady Bucs' 52 points, while ETSU shot a blistering 57.1 percent from the field (20-35). Pickwell led all scorers with 18 at the break thanks to her 6-of-7 showing from beyond the arc (made her first five attempts). The Lady Bucs were 9-for-16 from beyond the arc and out-rebounded Campbell 21 to 15.
The Blue and Gold held their own in the opening 4 minutes, 11 seconds of the second half as ETSU continued to hold a 21-point cushion, thanks to Davis knocking down the Lady Bucs' tenth three-pointer of the contest.
From there, Campbell pulled to within 16 on two separate possessions, but the Camels could never get over the hump. Then, with 7:56 remaining, the Lady Bucs put the exclamation point on the contest; when Davis found Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) open for three in the corner - putting the Lady Bucs back up 21, 72-51.
Campbell managed to narrow the gap to 13 down the stretch, but it was too late to mount a comeback victory over the Lady Bucs.
After shooting 57 percent in the first half, the Lady Bucs were 11-of-34 (32.4 percent) in the final 20 minutes to finish 31-for-69 for the game (44.9 percent). Meanwhile, Campbell shot 40.3 percent (27-67) from the field, and ETSU forced the Camels into 25 turnovers. The Lady Bucs managed to cash in 20 points off those miscues, while also hitting a season-best 11 three-pointers.
Campbell was led by Kate Cloxton as she recorded 16 points.
The Lady Bucs quickly return to action Wednesday night when ETSU travels to Knoxville to take on sixth-ranked Tennessee. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside Thompson-Boling Arena.
"Playing Tennessee is great for the program and great for our fans," added Kemp. "It's exciting to have the opportunity to drive an hour and half down the road to compete against one of the best teams in the country."
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.