Lady Bucs fall to conference leader UTC 61-58
Lady Bucs fall to conference leader UTC 61-58
Sunday, January 2, 2005

(Jan 2, 2005) -  Despite a late game rally by the ETSU offense, the Lady Bucs fell 61-58 to conference leader UTC today in Memorial Center.  With the loss, the Bucs fall to 4-8 overall for the year with a 2-3 slate in conference play, while the Lady Mocs improve to 11-2, 6-0 in SoCon competition.  Returning after missing one game to injury was ETSU forward Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) who posted a game-high 23 points adding eight rebounds and two assists in the loss.  UTC was led by Tiffany Patton and Nicole Mattison who each managed 11 points in the victory.


After taking an early 13-4 lead at the 13-minute mark, the ETSU defense allowed the Lady Mocs to quickly near the game at 19-16 as the lead shrank to just three.  Mayes paced the Bucs in the early minutes scoring eight of the first nine ETSU points, while two Laura Hall free-throw's kept UTC in contention mid-way through the first half of play.  The Bucs offense stalled at the 19-point mark as UTC finished the first half on a 14-2 run taking the 30-21 halftime lead into the intermission.


The Bucs were plagued with poor shooting during the first half, hitting just 33 percent (9-27) from the field while managing just a 3-8 tally from the charity stripe.  Mayes had a game-high 12 points at the half, while Candace Gibson (Warner Robbins, Ga.) led the Bucs with seven rebounds through the first 20 minutes of play.  Mattison tallied seven points for the Mocs, while Patton grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the way in the first.


ETSU started the second half much as they ended the first, poor shooting and turnovers led to the Mocs starting the second with a 12-5 run to hold the 42-26 advantage with 15 minutes remaining in the game.  The Lady Bucs offense quietly began to regroup behind a steal and lay-up by point guard B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) to near the score at 44-36.  With the defensive effort on high and the offense hitting their marks, ETSU managed to tie the game at 56 with just over one minute remaining in the half. 


Two Katasha Brown free-throws with 21 seconds remaining gave UTC the 60-56 upper hand until Banjo sped down the floor hitting a lay-up sending the Mocs lead to just two points with 15 seconds on the clock.  After an ETSU timeout the Bucs still had a chance as Brown hit jus the one of two free-throws; however a Lady Bucs turnover in the final seconds of play solidified the 61-58 victory for UTC.


The Lady Bucs shot considerably better in the second half hitting 60 percent of their shots to give them a 46 percent (23-50) finish for the afternoon.  The Mocs hit just 36 percent of their shots (21-58); however 45 total rebounds compared to just 31 by the Bucs helped propel UTC to the SoCon win.  Leading the way was Mayes with a game-high 23 points, while Banjo finished the afternoon with 18 points, two assists and a career-high six steals in the loss.  Gibson finished with just two points and a team-high 10 rebounds, however her two blocks give her 22 for the year, good enough for a 1.8 bpg. average.


ETSU will continue SoCon action when they host Davidson on Jan. 8 in a game slated for a 7:00 p.m. start time.  The game will be broadcast live on C-SET television network as well as on the Buccaneer Sports Network with pre-game and play-by-play analysis.