FAU holds off late surge, deals Lady Bucs first A-Sun setback, 79-71
FAU holds off late surge, deals Lady Bucs first A-Sun setback, 79-71
Thursday, January 12, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (January 12, 2006) - Despite a 21-point, 14-rebound effort from senior Candace Gibson (Warner Robins, Ga.), the Lady Bucs suffered their first Atlantic Sun setback of the season on Thursday, dropping a 79-71 decision to Florida Atlantic, in Memorial Center.  With the loss, ETSU falls to 9-4 overall, 5-1 in conference play, while the Owls improve to 5-7, 4-1 in the A-Sun. 


Down by as many as 10 in the second half, the Lady Bucs battled back to get within two at 72-70, with 1:45 remaining, but the FAU fended off the late charge, cashing in on a sensational shooting performance, in which the Owls drained 50 percent of the second-half shots, and 49.1 percent for the game.  The win by FAU halts the Lady Bucs' home-win streak at seven, while also preventing ETSU from its fifth-consecutive victory.


Up 35-34 at the half, the Lady Bucs quickly saw their lead slip away, as the Owls had stolen the advantage by the 17:33 mark, when a Demina Anderson layup put FAU up 39-37.  The Owls would extend their lead to 51-41 with just over 14 minutes to play, but the Lady Bucs wouldn't go away, fighting to get back within four on a layup by Gibson with 12:18 to go.  FAU answered with a three pointer by Cristal Randolph just 18 seconds later, taking the lead to 55-48. 


Buckets by Gibson and Kelly Turman (Atlanta, Ga.) brought ETSU within three by the period's halfway point, but the Owls held their ground, pushing the lead back to double digits, 63-53, with 7:26 to go.  Turman also had a commendable outing, posting 19 points and seven rebounds. 


A three-point play by Turman would bring the margin back to seven, followed by a layup by Alisha Holmes (Orangeburg, S.C.), which brought deficit to five.  FAU combated the attack with a basket by Breana Cox, but ETSU would continue to charge, bringing the lead to one, at 65-64, thanks to a two by Turman, and a three from Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio).


A layup by Gibson at the 4:41 mark would give the Lady Bucs one of their few leads of the evening at 66-65, but the Owls stole the momentum with a quick seven-point run, sparked by a three by Missy Glaser. 


A pair of free throws from Holmes and another Gibson layup made it a two point game once again, at 70-72, but the Owls prevailed, sinking five free throws in the final 40 seconds.


ETSU out-rebounded FAU, 47-37, but couldn't convert on the offensive end, shooting 34.9 percent.  The Lady Bucs, who had shot 80-percent plus at the free throw line in the past three games, had uncharacteristic difficulties at charity stripe, shooting 66.7 percent.  The Owls also had free-throw trouble with a 64.3-percent showing.  Turnovers also plagued both offenses, with FAU committing 23 miscues and ETSU with 22.


Glaser paced the Owls with 19 points, followed by Shontavia Williams with 18, and Randolph with 10.  Williams and Shuteamia Brayboy led FAU on the boards with seven apiece.


B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) added 13 for ETSU, while Holmes tied her career high with 10.  Behind Gibson's 14-rebound performance, Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.) grabbed a career-high eight boards.


After a rare weekend off, the Lady Bucs hit the road for A-Sun action against Kennesaw State on Monday.  Game time is slated for 9 p.m.  ETSU won the season's first meeting against KSU, 74-66, in Johnson City.