JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 29, 2011) - Senior guard Tara Davis (Murfreesboro) scored a team-high 21 points and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career, as the ETSU women's basketball team opened the second half with an impressive offensive run to dismantle Atlantic Sun Conference foe Kennesaw State 85-61 Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Davis, who became the 19th ETSU women's player to reach 1,000 points in a career, got the milestone with a free throw at the 17:05 mark of the second half. Along with Davis' scoring, the Lady Bucs also got a double-double effort from freshman forward Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.), who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while junior forward Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) pitched in 12 points.
With the win, ETSU improves to 12-9 overall, 9-3 in league action, while KSU drops to 6-13, 3-8.
"We're really proud of Tara and what she has done for this program over the last four years has been special," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp, whose team outscored KSU 21-3 in the opening five minutes of the second half to run away with the victory. "She did a great job for us again tonight, and Destiny continues to play well. I thought we really stepped up our intensity in the second half."
Kennesaw State managed to battle in the first half, putting together a 9-2 offensive run early on to take a 16-11 lead with just under 12 minutes left before the intermission. The Lady Bucs answered at that point, going on a run of its own and outscoring the Owls 13-4 over the next six minutes to hold a 24-20 edge with 5:39 left on the clock.
The Owls regained the advantage at 25-24 before a pair of free throws by Davis and a jumper from Washington made it 28-25 at the half.
In the first half, the Bucs shot just 26 percent from the floor, while KSU hit on 46 percent of its shots. ETSU also struggled to find its range from outside, hitting on just 2-of-12 shots (17 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. The Owls committed a sobering 17 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, meaning they took just 22 shots in the opening 20 minutes, compared to 43 shots by the Lady Bucs.
ETSU played inspired basketball after the break, clapping down on the defensive end, forcing numerous KSU turnovers, and capitalizing with easy baskets on the other end of the floor. The result was the game-deciding 21-3 run to open the second half. KSU was never able to recover.
In the second half, the Lady Bucs shot 68 percent from the floor and 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Meanwhile, ETSU forced the Owls into another 12 turnovers (29 for the game) and held KSU to just 38 percent shooting in the second half.
For the game, the Lady Bucs out-rebounded the Owls 41-36 and collected 13 steals. ETSU shot 42 percent from the field and 91 percent from the foul line.
KSU was led by a game-high 26 points from Angie Smith, while Tamasha Bolden netted 11.
The Lady Bucs will return to action on Monday evening as part of doubleheader action against Mercer inside the Dome. Tip is set for 4:45 p.m., followed by the men's game at 7 p.m.