Lady Bucs finally return home for Saturday's A-Sun opener
Friday, January 4, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 4, 2008) - After concluding a season-long five-game road trip Wednesday night with a big win over SEC foe Alabama, the ETSU women's basketball team finally returns home to Memorial Center where they will play for the first time since Dec. 1. The Lady Bucs face USC Upstate at 1:30 p.m. in the Atlantic Sun opener.


Fans unable to attend the game can watch via the live video streaming accessed at ASun.TV or by clicking the link located above. 


Below is a breakdown of the match-up:


Lady Bucs Last Game

The East Tennessee State women's basketball team out-scored Alabama 21-8 over the final 10 minutes to secure themselves its first road win of the season, by knocking off the SEC challenger 73-62 Wednesday night from the Coleman Coliseum.


The Lady Buccaneer win snapped a four-game losing streak and ETSU improved to 4-7 overall; while the Crimson Tide saw their three-game win streak end and fall to 6-8.


About USC Upstate

USC Upstate is competing in its first year of Division I, moving up after an 11-17 finish in their final season in Division II in 2006-07. The Spartans are one of the youngest teams in the Atlantic Sun, with no seniors on the squad and just four juniors, melding with a group of six freshmen and two sophomores. Leading the team in the backcourt is junior Courtney Bradley, one of just five players in school history to reach 300 career assists and four players to hit 100 3-pointers. Freshmen Kasey Thompson and Tiffany Whiting have quickly shown their aptitude from long-range and freshman Oceana Jackson was among the A-Sun leaders in scoring and rebounding until an ACL injury sidelined her for the rest of the season.


Sophomore guard Courtney Hawkins currently leads the team in scoring at 12.8 per game, while junior guard Ebony Johnson cleans up around the glass, averaging 7.5 rebounds a contest. Johnson grabbed a career-high 20 boards in the 52-50 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Monday, Dec. 31.


Upstate has not found any rhythm on the road, as they have lost six of its first eight away from Spartanburg. The Spartans are coming off their second worst defeat of the season after falling to Radford, 76-34, Thursday night. In the contest, Upstate turned the ball over 31 times and was called for 29 fouls. In addition, the Spartans shot a dismal 24-percent (12-50) and were held to season-low in points scored.


The Series

This marks the first meeting between the two programs.


Lady Bucs Havin' Fun in the A-Sun

Prior to the season, ETSU was picked to finish first in the conference according to the media and second by the coaches. The Lady Bucs start their third season in the league after posting stellar starts the previous two years. During the last two seasons, ETSU has tallied 28 regular season conference wins and the Lady Bucs have the highest winning percentage among conference foes, both all-time and in conference play. ETSU is 40-15 (.727) all-time against current A-Sun members and 29-12 (.707) in league play (including the conference tournament). The Lady Bucs have perfect 4-0 marks against Campbell, Kennesaw State, and North Florida all-time as well as against Stetson in league play.


Home Sweet Home

After not playing inside Memorial Center since knocking off UNC Asheville, 72-53, back on Dec. 1, the Lady Bucs finally return home where they have enjoyed a lot of success throughout the recent years. Since the start of the 2005-06 season, ETSU has won 22 of its 28 (.785) games played in Johnson City. Also, the Lady Bucs have won 16 of their last 19 home conference games, including a current seven-game winning streak against A-Sun schools. The last time ETSU lost a conference home game was almost a year ago when Belmont defeated the Lady Bucs, 78-69, on Jan. 6, 2007. 


Conference Openers

ETSU has won its last four conference openers and seven of its last eight. The lone Lady Buccaneer loss came against Chattanooga during the 2002-03 season.


More About Wednesday's Win at ‘Bama

By defeating Alabama (73-62) on Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa, the Lady Bucs snapped their six-game road losing streak and earned the first road win since knocking off North Florida on Feb. 17, 2007 ... the win over the Crimson Tide was ETSU's second win over an SEC program in the last three seasons (the Lady Bucs defeated Mississippi State on Nov. 28, 2005) ... the A-Sun has won three games against the SEC conference this season (Belmont vs. Alabama; Jacksonville vs. Florida) ... ETSU forced a season-high 29 turnovers and out-rebounded the Tide, 49-38 ... along with the rebounding, the Lady Bucs grabbed 25 offensive boards.


A Look Ahead

The Lady Bucs continue their season-long four-game homestand by hosting Big South favorite Liberty on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Tip is set for 7 p.m.


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