CHARLESTON, S.C. (December 7, 2005) - The Lady Bucs basketball team downed College of Charleston, 59-55, Wednesday night in John Kresse Arena. Senior Candace Gibson (Warner Robins, Ga.) tallied 19 points, including nine-straight in the second half, to help the Lady Bucs to the win. The senior posted a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Lady Bucs improve to 5-1 on the year, while C of C drops to 3-3.
Senior B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) drained a basket and a free throw in the waning minutes of the contest and also picked off a Cougar pass, icing the Lady Bucs' four-point victory. Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) also hit a free throw in the final minute. Both Banjo and DeVault posted 10 points on the night. Melissa Chambers led C of C with 12 points.
ETSU would get up by as many as 13 in the first period, but an 8-0 Cougar run to end the half, brought the Lady Buc lead to just three, at 26-23. C of C held ETSU scoreless for the last 5:39 of the frame. Gibson led the way early with eight first-half points, including a perfect 4-for-4 performance at the charity stripe. The senior also posted six rebounds in the opening period. Sophomores Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) and DeVault added six each. Tiffany Green paced the Cougars with half a dozen.
The Cougars picked up where they left off in the second half, taking the 27-26 lead behind scores by Marketta Tally and Melissa Chambers. The C of C lead was short lived, however, as a layup by Gibson put the Lady Bucs back on top at 28-27. Back-to-back buckets by Adaeze Azubuike (Lexington, Ky.) brought the lead back to five at 32-27. The rookie had eight points on the night, all in the second half.
C of C would tie the game at 46 with just five minutes to play in the game, but ETSU quickly went back up by five, behind a three by DeVault and a basket by Azubuike. But the Cougars wouldn't go away, tying the game once again at 1:23. The Cougars drained four-straight free throws to knot the score.
The Lady Bucs got out to a quick 4-0 lead with barely over a minute gone by the in first half with a bucket by Norman and a pair of free throws by Gibson. Another Norman score, with a Banjo assist, extended the early lead to 6-0.
ETSU kept the pressure on, taking an eight-point lead on a short jumper by Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.). Gibson brought the lead to double digits, sinking another pair of free throws with 15:54 left in the period.
The Cougars finally got on the board at the 15:18 mark, as Erica Irick drained two from the charity stripe. C of C wouldn't get its first field goal until 13:14, when Cougar Tiffany Green made a jumper in the lane. But the Cougars couldn't get anything going early, as the Lady Bucs led 17-4
with just under 12 minutes left in the half.
The Cougars chipped the lead down to single digits midway through the first half, but a pair of threes by DeVault brought the Lady Buc lead back to 13. C of C would fight back to get within seven late in the opening period with a three-point play by Nikki Williams, cutting the ETSU lead to 26-19. The Cougars continued to surge with buckets by Melissa Chambers and Williams before heading to the locker room.
The Lady Bucs continue play on the road this weekend, as they head to Bowling Green, Ky., to take on Western Kentucky. The game is slated for Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2:30 p.m. CST.