Lady Bucs drop wild one in Boone, 73-70
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

BOONE, N.C. (Jan. 16, 2008) - Things have a tendency not to go your way when you turn the ball over 31 times and allow the opposition to grab 20 offensive rebounds, and that is exactly what happened Wednesday night for the ETSU women's basketball team as the Lady Bucs dropped a tight one to Appalachian State, 73-70, inside the Holmes Center.


With the loss, the Lady Bucs fall to 6-10 overall and have now lost seven of their eight road games this season. With the win, the Mountaineers snapped a season-long six-game losing streak and improve to 3-13.


In a game that saw six lead changes and two ties in the final 5:22, the Lady Buccaneers could not catch any breaks down the stretch. ETSU led twice in the final three and half minutes, but the Mountaineers nailed eight of their 13 free throws in the closing minutes to secure the game.


ETSU still had chances for a victory but only hit two shots in the final three minutes. Trailing 68-67 with 2:01 remaining, the Lady Bucs had two possessions to go ahead, but missed three jumpers during that stretch eventually sending ASU to the free throw line to push its margin to three, 70-67. The Mountaineers extended their lead to 72-67, but a Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) three cut the lead to two, 72-70, with 16 seconds left. Appalachian State gave ETSU one final chance to send the game to overtime when Robin Colbert only hit one of her two freebies, but Kelly Turman's (Atlanta, Ga.) desperation three-pointer from half court hit the left side of the rim. 


After turning the ball over 19 times in the first half, the Lady Bucs could not gain any momentum to begin the second frame as they coughed the ball up five times in the first five minutes, giving Appalachian State a 43-39 lead. ETSU was finally able to get some things brewing on the offensive end by posting a 12-3 run to take a 52-46 lead with 8:54 left on the clock. Then, the Mountaineers showed another spurt, going on a 14-6 run to regain momentum, 60-58, at the 5:22 mark. That is the point when things got exciting down the stretch, but the Lady Buccaneers could not close it out.


"After playing so well on the defensive end Monday night, I am extremely disappointed with our all-around effort tonight," said head coach Karen Kemp, whose club set a season-high with the 31 turnovers. "If we don't come out with a different attitude Saturday (at Lipscomb) we will be in for a rude awakening."


Even though ETSU lost they still shot slightly better than Appalachian State. The Lady Bucs finished 43.5 percent (27-62) from the field, compared to 41.5 (27-65) by the Mountaineers. After struggling from the free throw line over its last six games, ETSU finally returned back to good form, going 11-of-13 (84.6 percent). The Lady Bucs did win the rebounding effort, 40-38, despite being outmatched by seven in the first half.  Appalachian State turned the ball up 24 times on the evening, which totaled 55 turnovers for the game. 


In the first half, the Lady Bucs began the game scoring five unanswered points, thanks to a three-pointer from Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) and a fast-break lay-up from Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.). Appalachian State would clip the lead to 9-6, heading into the first media time out at the 15:23 mark as Whitney Tossie gave the Mountaineers a lift by netting four of their first six points. From there, the Lady Bucs went cold and Appalachian State went on an 18-4 run to take a 24-13 lead with 9:27 left before the break. During that stretch, the Mountaineers held ETSU to only one field goal and forced eight turnovers. Fortunately, the Lady Buccaneers would not lose composure and finally regained the lead, 28-27, as they used a 15-3 spurt from the nine minute mark to only three and half left before intermission. DeVault and Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) fueled the run as they combined to score 11 points during the blitz. However, the Mountaineers finished the final three minutes posting a brief 8-4 run to take a three-point advantage into the break, 35-32.


Both clubs had a lot of trouble holding onto the basketball during the first 20 minutes, totaling 34 turnovers during the frame. ETSU coughed the ball up 19 times which turned into 11 points for the home team; while ASU turned over the rock 15 times, resulting in 13 points for the Lady Bucs. ETSU was also dominated on the boards, 23-16, and allowed the Mountaineers to grab 13 offensive rebounds. Appalachian State took advantage of those opportunities by turning those boards into nine second-chance points. DeVault led ETSU in scoring with nine points and Frances Hernandez led all players with 10.


For the contest, DeVault scored a team-high 14 points for the Lady Bucs, but Frances Hernandez and Brittany Mixon each scored career highs for the Mountaineers, lifting ASU to the home victory. Hernandez netted 21 points and Mixon finished 8-for-11 from the floor to end with 18. Belcher posted her third career double-double for ETSU, ending with 12 points and 11 rebounds.


The Lady Bucs face yet another quick turnaround as they head to the Music City and face in-state conference rival Lipscomb Saturday afternoon. Tip is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST inside Allen Arena.


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