Late rally not enough to overcome deficit
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 2, 2013) – A 30-13 ETSU run over the final five minutes narrowed the gap, but sharp shooting from three-point range and from the free-throw line proved too much to overcome for the Lady Bucs as they dropped a 90-79 decision to USC Upstate Wednesday evening inside the Hodge Center.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 2-6 overall and 0-1 in league play. The defeat is the Lady Bucs’ fourth straight defeat by 10 points or more. USC Upstate improved to 5-7 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
“I thought we came out and started the game with a little bit of intensity and they got the lead on us and a pin was stuck in our bubble,” head coach Karen Kemp said. “I am proud of the way we fought. We were down 28 and cut it to nine at one point and they didn’t quit and kept fighting to the very end. We will get in gym and get some shots up because we have to start knocking down outside shots early on and we have to do a better job of defending. It is early, the first conference game, so we have a lot of basketball to play before we make it to March. I am looking forward to getting back in the gym and working hard on some individual stuff and team stuff.”
In the Atlantic Sun opener for each team, the Lady Bucs got on the board early with a Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) three-pointer on ETSU’s opening possession to take an early lead. Upstate’s prowess from three-point land quickly became evident, hitting 46.2 percent (6-of-13) of their trifectas compared to only 22.2 percent (2-of-9) for ETSU in the first half. Senior guard Hannah Ohl came out firing for the Spartans, sinking four first half three-pointers. A late run pulled Upstate ahead, 38-26, at intermission.
ETSU opened the half with a quick bucket, but Upstate responded again, going on a 15-5 run over the first four minutes of the half. The Spartans continued their hot three-point shooting in the second half, netting 50 percent (3-of-6). As the half wore on, Upstate inflated the lead by getting to the free throw line, tallying 27 points off 29 attempts in the half. A 30-13 Lady Bucs run over the final five minutes of the game closed the gap, even getting the deficit within single digits, but it was too much to overcome, resulting in a 90-79 losing effort.
Upstate’s Hannah Ohl posted a game-high 19 points, 14 of which came in the first half, while Tee’Ara Copney and Tyra Smith added 17 and 14 points, respectively. Meanwhile, ETSU got a team-high 16 points from Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.), while Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) each totaled 15 points off the bench.
Shooting 50 percent (25-of-50) from the floor and an impressive 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from 3-point range, Upstate also shot a staggering 91.2 percent (31-of-34) from the free throw line. The Spartans also held a slight edge in the rebounding column, 40-38.
Meanwhile, ETSU struggled again from 3-point range, netting only 34.8 percent (8-of-23) and committed 19 turnovers in the game. From the field, the Lady Bucs shot an improved 40.3 percent (31-of-77), but shot a disappointing 56.3 percent from the charity stripe in only 16 tries. ETSU held the advantage in points in the paint (28-20), points off turnovers (23-16), second chance points (22-7), bench points (40-28) and were even in fast break points (6-6).
The Lady Bucs will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5, when they hit the road again for A-Sun play with a trip Nashville, Tenn. to take on the Lipscomb Lady Bison at 5 p.m. ET inside Allen Arena. For more on ETSU women’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s hoops link.
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