Lady Bucs dominating second half perfomance lifts them past Kennesaw State, 78-60
Friday, February 23, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 23, 2007) - Senior Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) dished out a career-high 14 assists and freshman Latisha Belcher (Ridgeway, Va.) earned her first career double-double as the Lady Bucs scored  43 second half points en route to a 78-60 victory over Kennesaw State on Friday night inside Memorial Center.


ETSU has now made it five in a row inside the dome and improved to 16-10, 12-4 in the A-Sun, but more importantly they regained its second-place lead over Jacksonville in the conference standings by a half game. With the loss, the Lady Owls fall to 11-15, 7-9 in the league, and are still winless in four tries against the Lady Bucs.


Four Lady Bucs reached double figures as freshman Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) led the way with a team-high 13 points. Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) finished with 12, while Kelly Turman (Atlanta) and Belcher each added 10. Rosetta Hollis picked up her fourth career double-double with a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds for Kennesaw State.


DeVault got the Lady Bucs rolling in the first half as she scored seven of their first 11 points, giving ETSU an early six point lead with 15:51 on the clock. The Lady Owls would fire right back with six unanswered points, tying the game at 11; however, Belcher stepped things up as she scored six of the next 10 points for ETSU, giving them a 21-13 lead at the 10 minute mark. A Turman jumper with 7:06 left before the break put the Lady Bucs up nine, 27-18, marking their largest lead of the half. However, Kennesaw used another 6-0 run to cut back into the lead, and they would eventually get to within one, 35-34, when Hollis hit a jumper with four seconds remaining.


In the first half, the Lady Bucs shot 42.9 percent (15-35), compared to only 35.3 (12-34) by Kennesaw State. ETSU had 11 assists on its 15 made field goals in the half, but were out-rebounded, 25-19, by the Lady Owls.


After a quiet first half, Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) came out of the break scoring the first four ETSU points, giving them a 39-34 lead with only fifty-two seconds coming off the clock. The Lady Owls would tie the game up for the second time of the night at 42, as they went on an 8-3 run, with 16:20 left in the contest. ETSU made sure the visiting team would not take the lead all night as they rattled off six straight points to take a 48-42 lead. The Lady Bucs lead would stay at or near six points for almost 11 minutes, until an Evans free throw put ETSU up double digits for the first time in the game at, 66-56, with 4:47 remaining. The Lady Owls would get to within eight, but the Lady Bucs defense buckled down as they closed out the game on a 12-2 run for the 18-point victory. ETSU held Kennesaw State to only two field goals in the final 6:55 of the ball game.


Despite being out-reboundeded in the first half, the Lady Bucs dominated the glass in the second half (31-21) and won the battle of the boards, 50-46, thanks to Belcher's career-high 12 rebounds. ETSU held the Lady Owls to 25 percent (7-28) from the field in the second half, and the Lady Bucs did not allow them to make a three-pointer in the final 20 minutes.


The Lady Bucs will have a week off before they host Stetson next Friday at 1 p.m. inside Memorial Center. ETSU will then close out its regular season on Sunday, March 4 when Mercer visits Johnson City for a 2 p.m. tip.