TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (Jan. 1, 2008) - After getting off to a disappointing 3-7 start in its 2007 portion of the schedule, the ETSU women's basketball team will look to kick off the 2008 slate in fine fashion as the Lady Bucs conclude a season long five-game road trip Wednesday night against SEC foe Alabama. Tip is set for 7 p.m. EST inside Coleman Coliseum.
The Lady Bucs, who are still searching for their first real road win since knocking off North Florida last February, is led by super sophomore Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) who leads the team in scoring (15.0ppg) and rebounds (9.5rpg). Along with Evans, senior Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) is helping out in the scoring department, averaging 14.0 points per contest; however, if ETSU looks to turn things around in 2008 they will need others to step up and help contribute.
Both teams are making their first appearance since Dec. 22, and will look to ring in the New Year on a positive note. Fans can listen to the game courtesy of Alabama athletics and Yahoo! Sports by visiting http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaw/collegebroadcast/teams/aaf.
Below is a breakdown of the match-up.
Last Time Out for the Lady Bucs…
The Lady Bucs concluded the 2007 portion of their schedule with a 75-52 loss at BIG EAST foe Georgetown. The Hoyas posted 44 second half points en route to the holding ETSU to its lowest point total of the season inside McDonough Arena.
Despite the loss, freshman point guard Kami Phillips (Augusta, Ga.) scored a team-high and season-high 10 points. Siarre Evans chipped in nine, ending her streak of scoring double digits at nine. Georgetown had three players score in double figures, with Kieraah Marlow leading the pack with 14 points.
Alabama's Stephany Smith enters her third year at the helm for the Crimson Tide. She returns eight letterwinners from last season's squad that posted a mark of 10-20. However, she brought in four newcomers, which have helped guide the Tide in 2007-08.
The Tide is led by freshman Tierney Jenkins who averages 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest. Jenkins is joined by another freshman in Daleisha Carn. Carn, a 6-foot guard, averages 9.8 points and hits 47.3 percent of her field goals (43-91) in 26.5 minutes of work.
Alabama earned its third-straight victory and fourth in its last five games to move within a game of .500, following a 63-54 victory over Jacksonville State on Dec. 22. Jenkins continued to pace the Tide as the newcomer averaged 21.3 points per game and 12.3 rebounds over the three-game streak. Jenkins erupted for career-highs in seven categories over the week, including a 29-point outburst against Hampton on Dec, 20. The Crimson Tide is currently 3-0 in their last three home games and 3-3 overall inside Coleman Coliseum. Alabama has amassed the 60-point plateau six times this season, and in five of those contests UA has proved to be victorious.
Alabama leads the all-time series, 3-0. Wednesday's affair marks the first time both schools have faced each other since the 1995-96 season. Alabama took the last contest, 95-64, back on Nov. 28, 2005. It will be head coach Karen Kemp's third meeting against the Crimson Tide.
Heading into the Break With a Lead...
The Lady Bucs need to make sure they take a lead into halftime and are ahead with five minutes remaining in the ballgame. ETSU is currently 2-0 when they take an advantage into the locker room and have not relinquished a lead when being ahead after 35 minutes have been completed in the contest. On the flip side, the Lady Bucs are 1-7 when trailing at the break and 0-7 when not having the lead with five minutes left in the game.
"Bumpy" Road Trip
The Lady Bucs conclude their season long five-game road swing that began almost a month ago at Davidson this evening in Alabama. The trip which started Dec. 6 has not been too kind for ETSU as they are currently 0-4 on the swing. During the trip, the Lady Bucs are being outscored 75.8 to 61.8 (-14.0ppg) and opponents are shooting 44.4 percent (100-225) compared to only 33.7 (85-252) by ETSU. Along the way, ETSU made stops in Cincinnati (Xavier), Radford, and the nation's capital (Georgetown). According to mapquest.com the Lady Bucs will travel a little over 3,000 miles on the five-city journey.
The Lady Bucs will look to hand Alabama an Atlantic Sun sweep tomorrow. The Tide faced Belmont earlier this season, and the Bruins bombed ‘Bama, 75-58, back on Nov. 28 in Nashville. Tonight marks the final game against an A-Sun opponent for Alabama, and ETSU is looking for its first win over an SEC foe since knocking off Mississippi State back on Nov. 20, 2005 (78-53). A win over the Crimson Tide would be the third victory for an A-Sun team over the SEC, as Jacksonville defeated Florida earlier in the year.
New Year's Note
ETSU has won its last two games after ringing in the New Year. Last season the Lady Bucs defeated Lipscomb 71-51 on Jan. 4. Back in 2006, ETSU downed Kennesaw State, 74-66.
A Look Ahead
After not playing inside Memorial Center in over a month, the Lady Bucs return home and open Atlantic Sun play against USC Upstate on Saturday, Jan. 5. Tip is set for 1:30 p.m.
Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information regarding the Lady Buccaneer basketball and all other athletic news.