KENNESAW, GA. (Jan. 27, 2007) - Four Lady Bucs reached double figures, including junior Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) as she scored a career high 22 points in the 95-88 victory over Kennesaw State on Saturday afternoon. The win pushed ETSU's winning streak to five, and marked the first time in school history the Lady Bucs have won five consecutive conference road games. The Lady Bucs improved to 12-7, 8-1 A-Sun, while Kennesaw State fell to 8-11, 4-5.
DeVault only missed two shots (8-10) and was a perfect three-of-three from the charity stripe as she led all scorers in the game. Georgia natives Kelly Turman (Atlanta) and Siarre Evans (Griffin) enjoyed their trip home by reaching double figures for the Lady Bucs. Turman scored a season-best 19 points, while Evans picked up her fourth straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rounding out the scoring attack was freshman Devin Thompson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) by pouring in 18 points off the bench. The Lady Owls had four players reach double figures in the losing effort, with Jennifer Baker finishing with 19 points.
In the first half, DeVault stormed out of the gates as she hit her first six shots, giving the Lady Bucs a 24-16 lead with 12:49 remaining before the break. The Lady Owls would get to within four, 24-20, but ETSU's hot shooting helped extend its lead to 41-26 as they used a 17-6 run to break the game open. The Lady Bucs would gain their largest lead of the game at 16, 46-30, when Thompson drove in for a lay-up with 4:20 left before the half. Despite only scoring four points during the final four minutes, ETSU took a 50-39 lead into the locker room.
The Lady Bucs reached the 50-point plateau in a half for the third time this season and were a scorching 60 percent (18-30) from the field after the first 20 minutes. Pressure defense by ETSU helped force 13 turnovers, which led to 24 points for the Lady Bucs. Two ETSU players reached double figures in the first frame as DeVault ended with 15 and Thompson added 10.
Kennesaw State's Baker scored nine of the first 13 points to open up the second half, cutting the ETSU lead to five, 57-52, with 15:50 remaining. From there the game got physical as the Lady Owls used a 7-2 run to tie the game at 59. It marked the first time the Lady Bucs did not hold the lead since the game was tied at seven at the 16:56 mark in the first half. Both teams would trade buckets during the next two possessions, but with the game tied at 63, ETSU scored the next four points, giving them a little breathing room at 67-63. Kennesaw State would get to within one, 71-70, as they went on a 7-3 run, but the Lady Bucs would answer. ETSU buckled down on defense as they held the Lady Owls without a field goal for five minutes and posted a 12-1 run, giving them an 83-71 lead with 5:11 left on the clock. However, Kennesaw would not go away as they used a 17-7 run to cut the lead to two, 90-88 with twenty-two seconds on the clock, but solid free throw shooting from Evans and Turman iced the game for ETSU.
For the game, ETSU shot a season-high 56.9 percent (33-58) from the field, compared to 44.9 percent (31-69) by Kennesaw. The deep bench by ETSU proved to be deadly as they out-scored the Lady Owls 39-19 thanks to the hot shooting of Turman and Thompson. For the ninth straight game ETSU has won the rebounding battle as they out-rebounded Kennesaw 39-28.
The Lady Bucs continue their road swing as they head to the Music City and take on Belmont on Thursday at 7 p.m. inside the Curb Event Center. The game will feature the top two teams in the A-Sun as Belmont stands at 9-0 and the Lady Bucs are 8-1.