Lady Bucs extend home winning streak to six with afternoon win over Stetson
Friday, March 2, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March. 2, 2007) - The ETSU women's basketball team earned its sixth consecutive home win with a 61-53 victory over Stetson, in a rare Friday afternoon game inside Memorial Center. It marks the first time since the 1999-2000 season the Lady Bucs have won six straight inside the dome.


With the win, ETSU improves to 17-10, 13-4 in the A-Sun, and for the moment move into a tie with Jacksonville for second-place in the conference standings. The Lady Bucs will need some help from Lipscomb tomorrow as the Dolphins and Lady Bisons meet inside Swisher Gymnasium at 2 p.m. Jacksonville holds the tiebreaker over ETSU with their win over Belmont last night. Stetson falls to 5-23, 5-12, and has now lost nine of its last 10 games.


The first seven minutes of the game was tightly contested as there were five ties and five lead changes; however, with the game tied at 13, the Lady Bucs posted an 8-0 run thanks strong play by the freshmen as Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) and TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) each drained a three and Latisha Belcher (Ridgeway, Va.) added a lay-up during the run. Stetson's Janene Maclin drove in for a lay-up, cutting the ETSU lead to four, 25-21 with 5:54 remaining before the break. However, the Lady Bucs stepped things up on defense as the Maclin lay-up was the only field goal Stetson would get before the half, and ETSU took a 30-22 lead into the locker room.


Eight of the 10 ETSU players who saw the court in the first half reached the scoring column, while Evans led the team with six points. The Lady Bucs shot 42.9 percent and held the Hatters to 32.1 percent from the field, as they were held without a three-pointer during the first half. Both teams had problems holding onto the ball for the first 20 minutes as the teams combined for 27 turnovers; the 15 turnovers forced by ETSU turned into 14 points on the offensive end.


Stetson came out of the break and used a 10-4 run to cut the Lady Buc lead to two, 34-32 with 16:55 remaining in the game. ETSU would not let that run discourage them as they quickly went on a run of its own (13-2) and pushed its lead into double figures for the first time in the afternoon at 47-34. The Hatters would score the next five points, but a Kelly Turman (Atlanta) jumper with 5:49 left on the clock gave the Lady Bucs their largest lead of the game, 57-39, as the 8-0 run proved to be too much for Stetson to handle. The Hatters would close out the game on a 12-2 run, but it was too little too late for the visitors from Florida.


            ETSU tied its season high by forcing Stetson to turn the ball over 30 times; however, the Lady Bucs were not much better controlling the ball as they coughed it up 23 times during the game. The Lady Bucs were out-rebounded, 38-32, on the afternoon, marking just the fourth time all season ETSU picked up a victory when allowing more rebounds.


            Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.) led the Lady Bucs with a team-high 10 points, on 5-of-9 shooting, while Stetson's Maclin led all scorers with 14. Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) dished out seven assists and now needs six more to move ahead of Angie Fickes (1997-2000) for second all-time in ETSU history.


            The Lady Bucs close out the 2006-07 regular season when they host Mercer this Sunday inside Memorial Center. Tip is set for 2 p.m. as seniors Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) and Brooke Wilhoit will be honored before the game.