ETSU women's basketball begins five-game road trip at Davidson
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

DAVIDSON, N.C. (Dec. 5, 2007) - After getting off to a slow 1-3 start, the East Tennessee State women's basketball team quickly evened its record to 3-3 by posting back-to-back victories over Evansville and UNC Asheville. The Lady Bucs now look to carry their momentum into a season-long five-game road trip, beginning Thursday evening at Davidson. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside the John M. Belk Arena.


Below is a breakdown of the match-up:


Lady Bucs Last Game

The Lady Buccaneers blocked a school-record 13 shots and dished out a season-high 17 assists en route to a comfortable 72-53 victory over non-conference foe UNC Asheville Saturday afternoon.


The Lady Bucs were led by Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) as she scored 10 of her game-high 13 points in the second half, to finish 4-of-5 from the field and with five assists. Joining the super sophomore in double figures were Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) and Kelly Turman (Atlanta). The senior leaders each netted 11 for ETSU, while Turman also tied her season high with seven rebounds. Kyla Jones led UNC Asheville with 12 points off the bench.


The blocks set a new record which was previously created on Dec. 5, 2002, when Kemp's club swatted 12 against Tusculum. Sophomore Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) blocked a career-high five shots, while freshman guard Kami Phillips (Augusta, Ga.) finished with a career-best three. Belcher also finished with five rebounds to go with the blocks, and Phillips posted her best game as a Lady Buccaneer thus far. The Augusta native, finished with five points, (5-of-6 from the charity stripe), three assists and two steals.


About Davidson

Davidson finished 23-9 a year ago and made the team's first ever trip to postseason play (WNIT).  The Wildcats return nine letterwinners, including two starters in senior forward Danielle Hemerka (6-0) and redshirt senior guard Katie Hamilton (5-10). Hamilton was selected Second Team All-SoCon; while the Wildcats were picked third in the league this season.


The Wildcats have won back-to-back contests after claiming victories over Winthrop and Georgia Southern. In its last outing, Davidson senior Honna Housley scored seven of her 13 points in the final 1:23 to lead the Wildcats to a 68-63 non-conference women's basketball victory over the Winthrop Eagles as head coach Annette Watts became the all-time winningest coach in program history on Sunday afternoon at John M. Belk Arena.


Junior forward Mercedes Robinson leads the Wildcats in scoring (12.0) and rebounding (7.5). As a team, Davidson is averaging 60.2ppg and allowing its opponents to score 59.2 per contest.


The Series

Davidson leads the all-time series 13-11 and has won the last two meetings in this classic showdown between two former SoCon foes. The Wildcats ruined ETSU's home opener a year ago, as Davidson defeated the Lady Bucs 82-68 on Nov. 17. The Lady Bucs were led by Michele DeVault (21 points, 7 rebounds) and Siarre Evans (16 points, nine rebounds) in the losing effort; while Katie Hamilton scored 20 points for the Wildcats. In addition, ETSU has lost nine of the 11 games played at Davidson.


Player Watch

Seniors Michele DeVault and Kelly Turman have given the Lady Bucs an enormous lift as of late. DeVault has scored double figures in all six of ETSU's contests this season, including her career-best 25-point performance over Evansville on Nov. 24. The Columbus, Ohio native leads the team in scoring at 15.7 points per contest, which ranks fourth in the A-Sun and leads the league with a 94.3 clip (33-of-35) at the free throw line. Turman, who is hitting a conference-high 55.9 percent of her shots, is giving Kemp's club a spark off the bench. The Atlanta native has reached double figures in scoring five times this season, and averages 11.7ppg in 19.3 minutes of work.


The Wildcats are led by junior forward Mercedes Robinson. The 6-1 post player averages 29.3 minutes of action, while leading the club in scoring (12.0) and rebounding (7.5). Joining Robinson is freshman Kelsey Cary, as she is posting 10 points and 6 rebounds throughout the first six Wildcat games this season.


Broadcast Info

Fans can view the ETSU/Davidson game live via video streaming by clicking the link located above. Please note Thursday's match-up marks the first of at least seven games to be broadcast over the Holston Valley Broadcasting Corporation radio stations. Don Helman enters his fifth season as the "Voice of the Lady Bucs", and will be calling all the action on WKPT-AM 1590 in Johnson City, WKPT-AM 1400 in Kingsport and WOPI-AM 1490 in Bristol. Additionally, WOPI's FM translator 97.7 will also air ETSU games.


Something Has To Give

ETSU leads the A-Sun in scoring (73.0) but ranks last in defense (75.0), where as Davidson leads the SoCon in scoring defense (59.2) and ranks seventh in scoring offense (60.2). Both teams mirror themselves at the free-throw line, as the Lady Bucs lead the A-Sun with a 74.8 clip and Davidson leads all SoCon teams at 73.8 percent.


Road Trip

The Lady Bucs begin a season-long five-game road swing Thursday night at Davidson. The trip which begins Dec. 6 will last all the way through Jan. 2, 2008 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Along the way, ETSU will make stops in Cincinnati (Xavier), Radford, and the nations capital (Georgetown). According to the Lady Bucs will travel a little over 3,000 miles on the five-city journey.


A Look Ahead

ETSU will travel home and take its finals before heading off to play 2007 Atlantic 10 Tournament Champion Xavier, on Sunday, Dec. 16. Tip is set for 2 p.m. inside Cintas Center. 


Davidson heads to take on nationally ranked Georgia on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2:30 p.m.


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