Lady Bucs ease their way to victory over North Florida, 87-48

Thursday, January 18, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 18, 2007) - The ETSU women's basketball team used a 22-2 run to start the game and blew North Florida out of the water en route to an 87-48 victory Thursday night inside Memorial Center. The 39-point victory was the third largest win for head coach Karen Kemp in her 13-year tenure at ETSU.


The Lady Bucs have now won three straight games for the third time this season and improve to 10-7, 6-1 A-Sun, while the Ospreys fall to 3-13, 2-4 A-Sun. With the win, ETSU moves to a season-high three games above .500.


Freshman Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) led all scorers with a game-high 21 points, and picked up her second straight double-double with 12 rebounds. Evans now has five double-doubles in her rookie season. Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) finished with 18 points and set a new career-best with five steals against the Ospreys. Rounding out ETSU in double figures was junior Kelly Turman (Atlanta) as she came off the bench and chipped in 10.


For the third time in five games every Lady Buccaneer player who dressed got in the game, while freshman Brianna McClelland (Douglas, Ga.) scored her first collegiate points. Every North Florida player who got in the game scored, with Jennifer Bowen scoring a team-high nine points.


The Lady Bucs came out on fire as they hit eight of their first 11 shots, and jumped out to a scorching 22-2 lead. ETSU's defense gave UNF fits as they held the visiting team without a field goal for the first 6:57, before a Bowen lay-up ended the scoring drought for the Ospreys. Throughout the next 10 minutes the Lady Buc lead would stay at or near the 20-point mark as both team traded buckets, until ETSU closed out the half on a 9-2 run during the final 3:44, and took a 49-20 lead into the break. The 29-point lead was the largest lead at the half for the Lady Bucs this season.


            After 20 minutes DeVault led all scorers with 11, as ETSU only missed 11 shots (17-28) and finished 60.7 percent from the field. The Lady Bucs also shot well from beyond the arc by missing only two three-pointers (6-8).  ETSU held the Ospreys to only five field goals on 18.5 percent shooting (5-27) in the first half.


            ETSU opened the second half on a 13-3 run, extending its lead to 39, 62-33, thanks to a lay-up by Evans with 12:09 remaining. North Florida would answer with a quick 5-0 during the next minute and half, but they could not inch any closer as the Lady Bucs defense held the Ospreys to only three field goals during the next six minutes. A Turman jumper gave ETSU its largest lead of the season at 44, 79-35, with 4:16 left in the game, and the Lady Bucs would cruise to the victory from there.


            Wilhoit posted her second best assist performance of the season by finishing with 10, moving her ahead of Lori Hines (1981-84) for third all-time in ETSU history with 358 for her career. Senior Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) ended with a season-best eight points, on two-of-four shooting from three-point range.


            For the game the Lady Bucs shot 52.5 percent (32-61) from the field, marking the second best shooting performance on the season (53 percent against UNC-Asheville). ETSU held UNF to a frigid 27.4 (17-62) shooting percentage, and forced the Ospreys to turn the ball over 27 times. The 27 turnovers forced set a season-high for the ETSU defense, and it was also the seventh consecutive game the Lady Bucs forced their opponent to turn the ball over 20+ times.


            The Lady Bucs will look to sweep the two-game home stand when they return to action on Saturday against Jacksonville at 1:30 p.m. in Memorial Center. The game will feature the two of the top three teams in the league as ETSU enters in second place at 6-1, and the Dolphins enter third at 4-2.

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