Lady Bucs basketball downs Mars Hill, 87-68, in early season exhibition
Lady Bucs basketball downs Mars Hill, 87-68, in early season exhibition
Wednesday, November 9, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 9, 2005) - Senior B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) exploded for game-high 27 points, as the ETSU women's basketball squad downed Mars Hill, 87-68, in an exhibition contest, Wednesday night in Memorial Center.  The Lady Lions failed to lead all evening, despite 21 points from Kristi Ferris, as the Lady Bucs shot out to an early 5-0 advantage and never looked back, leading by as many as 19 points.

Mars Hill inched within 10 in the second half, cutting the 14-point halftime deficit to nine points with 13:56 to go in the second frame.  But the Lady Bucs responded, scoring 11 points in the next four minutes to extend the margin to 19 and silence the Lady Lions for the night.


Four Lady Bucs scored in double-figures, with Candace Gibson (Warner Robins, Ga.) tallying the night's only double-double with an 18-point, 10-rebound effort.  Sophomore Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) stepped up inside for ETSU, scoring 13 points, while classmate Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.) added 11.


The Lady Bucs were hot from beyond the arc, shooting an impressive 77.8 percent, including a perfect 4-for-4 performance in the second half.  Banjo led the ETSU attack going 5-for-6 from three-point range, making all three second half attempts.  Junior Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) and freshman Adaeze Azubuike (Lexington, Ky.) also made a three-pointer apiece.  MHC also shot well from long range, totaling 54.5 percent for the night, including a pair from both Allison Schafer and Abby DeBusk.


Mars Hill out-shot the Lady Bucs from the field, tallying 48.4 percent, just ahead of ETSU at 45.8.  The Lady Lions had three players in double figures, with DeBusk with 15, Schafer adding 13.


ETSU bettered the Lady Lions on the boards, pulling in 42 to MHC's 39.  Mars Hill managed to grab 28 defensive rebounds, to ETSU's 27, including eight from Lady Lion Shannon Lee.  Akers, Banjo, and Gibson pulled down five defensive boards apiece.  On the offensive glass, ETSU led 14-12, behind five from Gibson.  MHC's Lee was the leading rebounder for the game with 12 boards.


Mars Hill struggled at the free-throw line, shooting a dismal 40.0 percent, making only eight of 20 attempts.  ETSU also had their share of charity stripe woes in the second half, shooting 58.3 percent. Combined with a 76.5 percent performance in the first frame, ETSU ended night at 69 percent.


The Lady Bucs will have a week and a half break before kicking off regular season play, as ETSU travels to Starkville, Miss., for it's opener against SEC foe Mississippi State.  ETSU returns home on Nov. 29, as Eastern Kentucky invades Memorial Center for a 7 p.m. tip off.