DeVault's record-breaking day overshadowed by 11-point loss to Gardner-Webb, 82-71
Saturday, January 12, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 12, 2008) - It was not the way senior Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) envisioned entering the record books Saturday afternoon, as Gardner-Webb handed ETSU its first conference loss of the season, 82-71, from Memorial Center. DeVault became the 15th Lady Buccaneer player in ETSU history to reach the 1,000-point club and the all-time leader in three-pointers made at 178.


"It's a great accomplishment to achieve, but to me it means nothing without getting the win out there today," added DeVault, who became the first player to join the 1,000-point plateau since her former teammate B.J. Banjo accomplished the feat during the 2005-06 campaign. DeVault also jumped Banjo on the all-time career three-point made list at 178.


Things looked great early on for the Lady Bucs as they led by as many as 12 in the first half, but Gardner-Webb's second half spurt crushed any hopes of ETSU extending its conference home win streak to eight games. The Runnin' Bulldogs did just that as they blitzed ETSU for 51 second half points to improve to 7-9, 3-0 in league play. The loss puts the Lady Buccaneers at 5-9, 1-1, and it marks their first conference loss at home since falling to Belmont on Jan. 6, 2007.


"We knew Gardner-Webb was a very strong second half team and to give up 51 points on your home floor is very frustrating," commented head coach Karen Kemp. "As a team, we need to make sure we do a better job of maintaining home court advantage from here on out."


In the first half, DeVault got things rolling for ETSU as she scored four points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out two assists; giving the Lady Bucs an early 8-4 advantage with a little less than five minutes into the contest. From there, ETSU would pick up its largest lead of half, 20-8 when senior Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) connected on back-to-back lay-ups at the 9:18 mark. However, the Lady Bucs would go cold and GWU started heating up as the Runnin' Bulldogs narrowed ESTU's lead to one, 28-27, when Dominique Hudson connected on her first three of the afternoon. The Lady Bucs would score six of the final 10 points of the half to take a 34-31 lead into the break.


After the first 20 minutes the Lady Bucs shot 42.4 percent (14-33), compared to only a 35.7 clip (10-28) by GWU. Fortunately, for ETSU its suffocating defense forced the Runnin' Bulldogs to turn the ball over 15 times, which in return totaled 17 points on the offensive end. Despite being out-rebounded, 24-20, the Lady Buccaneers still outscored GWU 20-16 in the paint. ETSU had eight assists to only four by the Runnin' Bulldogs. Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) led all scorers at the break with nine; while Monique Hudson and Courtney Epps each contributed eight for GWU.


A sloppy start to the second half caused the Lady Bucs to lose their lead and pretty much all momentum as ETSU turned the ball over five times in less than three minutes; giving GWU a chance to take its first lead since 2-0 of the first half at, 35-34 with 17:56 remaining in the game. The contest would remain close for the next nine-plus minutes, but foul trouble and poor shooting ended up hurting the Lady Bucs' chances of coming back into the game.


After keeping the game in single digits during that stretch, Gardner-Webb finally pushed its lead into double figures when a Monique Hudson lay-up gave the visitors a 54-44 advantage with a little less than nine minutes to go. ETSU would cut the lead to eight on an Evans lay-in at the 5:55 mark, but Gardner-Webb proved to be too powerful as the Lady Bucs folded in the final minutes. GWU would extend its lead to 15 and walked away with the 11-point conference win.


Despite controlling GWU in the first half, the Lady Buccaneer defense would allow the Runnin' Bulldogs to shoot 59.3 percent (16-27) from the field and 4-of-6 (66.7 percent) from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes. For the game, ETSU shot 40.9 percent (27-66) to GWU's 47.3 clip (26-55). The Lady Bucs forced 26 turnovers, but could not stop the hot shooting hand of Gardner-Webb. Also, ETSU could not get anything going from the free throw line (54.2 percent) and beyond the arc (23.5 percent).


Monique Hudson led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting; while Evans led ETSU with 17. DeVault finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes, and her teammate (Jenny) Norman came off the bench and scored 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Sophomore TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) finished with 14 points and four rebounds on the afternoon.


ETSU will conclude its season-long four-game homestand when the Lady Buccaneers host Campbell Monday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside Memorial Center. Gardner-Webb will travel to take on USC Upstate on Monday night as well.


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