BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Feb. 24, 2011) - The Lady Bucs had the look they wanted, but Tara Davis' (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) wide open three from the corner with five seconds left in regulation rimmed out, and the ETSU women's basketball team dropped a tough 60-57 decision to Campbell Thursday night inside the John W. Pope Convocation Center.
The Lady Bucs had four players reach double figures in scoring as freshman guard Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) led the way with 12 points and three assists. Freshman Jasmine McIntosh (Bowie, Md.) and junior Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) each netted 11 points, while Davis finished with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes of action.
With the loss, the Lady Bucs dropped to 18-11, 15-5, while it also marked the first time the Blue and Gold lost to Campbell in the 12-game series. Meanwhile, Campbell kept its hopes alive to improve on its tournament seeding by moving to 12-16, 11-8.
"I told my staff after the game we weren't ready," said head coach Karen Kemp. "After we turned the ball over three times in our first three possessions, I thought we battled through that, but we should've been up by more at the half. Hopefully this will be good for us, because maybe the players will remember how important the little things are - like boxing out. We will be ready for the tournament. If not, its win or go home."
After turning the ball over three times in the first forty-seven seconds, the Lady Bucs finally settled down as they scored on three of the next four possessions to grab a 6-2 lead when Davis found Washington open for a fast-break lay-up, forcing Campbell to call a timeout at the 16:49 mark. The Camels were forced to burn their second timeout four minutes later as a Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) lay-up put the Blue and Gold up 11-4 with 12:26 showing on the clock.
From there, neither team scored for almost five minutes until McIntosh's three-pointer ignited an 8-0 Lady Buccaneer run - putting ETSU up 19-4 with less than six minutes remaining in the half.
However, after going over ten minutes without a point and missing 22 of its first 24 shots, Campbell's Jessica Moore snapped the drought with a three-pointer and the Camels were able to pull within four. But the Lady Bucs managed to take a 25-19 lead into the locker room.
Neither team put on a shooting clinic in the opening 20 minutes as the Lady Bucs shot 37 percent (11-30), compared to the Camels shooting 25 percent (8-32). ETSU assisted on ten of its 11 makes, while Campbell had five first-half assists. Meanwhile, the Camels scored 11 points off ten ETSU turnovers, while ten of the Lady Bucs' 25 points came in the paint.
Randall and Davis came out energized to start the second half as the Lady Buccaneer duo combined to score the first 15 points for ETSU - giving the Blue and Gold a 40-34 lead after Davis laid one in at the 12:51 mark. ETSU finally got buckets from McIntosh and Washington to go up eight, but the Camels trailed 46-43 after Roslyn Presley capitalized on a three-point-play with less than seven minutes left in the contest.
McIntosh came up big over the next minute, twelve seconds as she converted on an and-one and knocked down a three from the top of the arc to extend ETSU's lead to 52-45, but Campbell wouldn't budge as the Camels closed out the final five minutes, forty-seven seconds on a 15-5 run.
The Lady Bucs led by six with three and a half minutes to play, but ETSU went scoreless down the stretch - allowing the Camels to gain momentum and score the final nine points of the contest.
Even with ETSU up by two with 1:44 showing on the clock, Davis committed a turnover which led to Tonisha Baker tying the game at 57. From there, a missed jumper by Washington and turnover by Tosha Austin (Chattanooga, Tenn.) gave the Camels the ball back with 37 ticks remaining. Amanda O'Neil picked off the pass and went the distance, but Davis denied her the shot by putting her on the free throw line. After O'Neil made one of the two attempts, Washington's baseline jumper rimmed out with less than 20 seconds to play and the Lady Bucs were forced to foul again. Baker made both free throw attempts; however, as Davis crossed half-court with six seconds on the clock, the Lady Bucs called a timeout to draw up one final play.
The play almost worked to perfection as Davis got open in the corner, but the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native's shot couldn't hit the bottom of the net and Campbell went on to win by three.
For the game, the Lady Bucs shot 33.3 percent (21-63) and 30.3 percent (4-13) from beyond the arc, while Campbell shot 37.7 percent (26-69) but were only 1-of-13 from three. With red-shirt senior post Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) dressed but not seeing any action, the Lady Bucs were dominated on the boards - 51 to 40. The Camels scored 17 points on 18 offensive rebounds and 21 points off 17 ETSU turnovers.
Baker led three players in double figures by finishing with a game-high 16 points.
The Lady Bucs return to action Wednesday afternoon as ETSU looks to capture its fourth consecutive Atlantic Sun Tournament championship. ETSU tips off at noon inside Mercer's University Center in Macon, Ga., but the opponent has yet to be determined.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.