Lady Bucs have fun in 26-point rout over Gardner-Webb
Thursday, February 8, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 8, 2007) - For the fourth time this season every ETSU player who dressed saw action, as the Lady Bucs scored 47 second half points en route to 87-61 victory over Gardner-Webb inside Memorial Center Thursday night.


With the win, the Lady Bucs improved to 13-9, 9-3 in the A-Sun, while Gardner-Webb had their three-game winning streak snapped and drop to 9-14, 6-6. ETSU moved to 4-1 at home in conference games, where they have not lost since Jan. 6. The Lady Bucs did something that at the time #1 Maryland could not accomplish this season, which was put up 87 points against the Runnin' Bulldogs. 


Five ETSU players reached double figures as Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) led the way with a season-best 16 points, on six-of-seven shooting. Birthday girl Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) and freshman Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) each added 14 points for the Lady Bucs. Latisha Belcher (Ridgeway, Va.) scored a career-high 13, while Devin Thompson (Murfreesboro) made her first collegiate start and finished with 10. Gardner-Webb's Shameka Smith and Brittany Harmon each scored a game-high 17 points in the losing effort.


The Lady Bucs opened the second half on a 19-4 run and extended their five point halftime lead to 59-39, thanks to a Belcher lay-up with 12:11 remaining. The ETSU lead would stay at or around 20 for the next couple minutes, until the Lady Bucs decided to have some fun and open the game wide open. Over the next three and a half minutes ETSU was on fire as they connected on seven consecutive possessions, which included back-to-back threes from Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville), and then fellow senior Moring decided to get in the action by scoring on back-to-back possessions with a long-range bomb and a jumper right inside the three-point arc. During the stretch the Lady Bucs gained their largest lead of the night at 33, 81-48, as they went on 16-4 run to take total control of the game.


For the game, the Lady Bucs shot 45.9 percent (34-74), compared to 51.3 percent (20-39) by the Runnin' Bulldogs. Turnovers and bench points proved to costly for Gardner-Webb as they turned the ball over 28 times and were outscored, 41-15, by ETSU's bench. Both teams shot the ball well from the free throw line as they were a combined 31-of-42 (73.8 percent). ETSU finished 11-of-14 (78.6 percent), while Gardner-Webb was 20-of-28 (71.4 percent) on the night.


In the first half, ETSU got off to a shaky start as Gardner-Webb opened up to its largest lead of the night, 14-5, at the 14:11 mark thanks to the strong shooting of Harmon and Smith. Over the next four minutes the Lady Bucs posted a 12-2 run, and took their first lead of the game when DeVault knocked down a three with 10:35 on the clock. The rest of the half remained close as there were five ties during the final 10 minutes. However, ETSU built a little lead right before half as they finally took advantage with a 10-2 run in the final two minutes and fifty-two seconds, holding Gardner-Webb to only one field goal during the stretch.


ETSU held a 40-35 lead at the break despite shooting 42.9 percent (15-35), compared to 72.2 percent (13-18) by Gardner-Webb. Bench points were key for the Lady Bucs as they outscored the Runnin' Bulldogs, 20-6, thanks to Moring giving ETSU a spark with eight points in the first frame. The Lady Bucs also managed to force 13 first half turnovers which led to 15 ETSU points.


The Lady Bucs will look to win their fourth straight game at home when they host Campbell Saturday afternoon. Tip is set for 2 p.m. inside Memorial Center.