KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 22, 2010) - Tennessee shot over 80-percent to start the first 13 minutes of the second half and the Lady Bucs had no answer for the strong surge, as the fifth-ranked Lady Vols stormed past ETSU 102-53 in front of 11,751 fans inside Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday night.
ETSU was led by Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) and Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) as they each netted 10 points. Mitchell also finished with seven rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes of work. Meanwhile, Washington just missed recording a double-double after pulling down nine rebounds.
The Lady Bucs, who were playing Tennessee for the first time since Jan. 8, 1986, dropped to 3-6 after the setback. Tennessee improved to 11-2 after registering its 330th victory inside Thompson-Boling Arena.
"Coming in here and playing Tennessee was a great opportunity for our program, and I was pleased with the effort - especially in the first half," commented head coach Karen Kemp. "Prior to the game I told the team to have fun, play hard, protect the basketball and knock down open shots. I thought we did three of those things well, but we just didn't hit the open shots. I can't wait to get home and look at the tape, because I thought we did some things very well tonight. We will take away some positives from this game and hopefully execute them next time out against Holy Cross."
Tennessee opened the game on a 5-0 run, but the Lady Bucs didn't back down as ETSU scored 11 of the next 20 points, forcing the Lady Vols to burn a 30-second timeout after Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) found Tosha Austin (Chattanooga, Tenn.) for an easy lay-up to make it 14-11 at the 14:26 mark.
The timeout by Pat Summitt paid off as the Lady Vols regrouped and used the next four-plus minutes to expand their lead to double figures, but the Lady Bucs continued to battle and eventually pulled back to within eight, 29-21, when Washington hit Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) open in the corner for a three with 8:23 showing on the clock. Unfortunately, Davis picked up her third personal foul with four minutes left before halftime, and Tennessee carried a 14-point lead into the break, 46-32.
For the half, the Lady Bucs shot 36.4 percent (12-33) from the field, compared to Tennessee posting a 44.1 shooting percentage (15-34). ETSU assisted on 10 of its 12 makes; however, the Lady Bucs turned the ball over 10 times and the Lady Vols converted those into 11 points on the offensive end. Tennessee also went to the free throw line 13 more times than ETSU, but the Lady Vols were 11-of-21 while the Lady Bucs hit 5-of-8.
Tennessee hit the first four shots to begin the second half and opened a 22-point lead, 55-33, after Kelley Cain laid one in at the 17:53 mark.
After trailing by 14 at the half, ETSU was only able to get to within 19, 59-40, when Washington knocked down her second three-pointer of the season early on in the final stanza.
However, Tennessee's shots continued to fall and ETSU had no answer for the hot shooting spree.
The Lady Vols made 16 of their first 19 shots out of the halftime break and led 85-48 with eight minutes left in the contest.
Eventually, Tennessee shot 60 percent and outscored the Lady Bucs 56-21 in the second half to walk away with the 49-point victory.
For the game, ETSU shot 30.2 percent (19-63) and the Lady Vols finished at 52.2 percent (36-69) from the field. Tennessee's height played a factor as they out-rebounded the Blue and Gold by 19, 53-34, and the Lady Vols also swatted five shots.
Tennessee had six players score in double figures as Angie Bjorklund led the way with 16 points.
The Lady Bucs return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 28 when ETSU takes on Holy Cross at the Marriott Cavalier Classic in Charlottesville, Va. Tip is set for 4:30 p.m. inside Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.