Lady Bucs swat UNCA away, 72-53

Saturday, December 01, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 1, 2007) - The  ETSU women's basketball team blocked a school-record 13 shots and dished out 17 assists en route to a comfortable 72-53 win over UNC Asheville in non-conference basketball action inside Memorial Center 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.


In the first half, ETSU exploded out to a 22-7 start eight minutes into the contest and never looked back. UNC Asheville would get to within seven points at the 7:28 mark, but could not move any closer for the rest of the game. From there, the Lady Buccaneers closed out the remainder of the frame on a 12-5 run to take a 36-22 advantage into the locker room.


ETSU's tenacious defense limited the Bulldogs to six field goals and an icy 19.4-percent (6-31) clip from the field in the first 20 minutes of action. On the other side, the Lady Buccaneers assisted on 11 of their 15 field goals made and shot 41.7 percent (15-36) from the floor. The Lady Bucs dominated the boards, outrebounding UNCA, 30-19, in the first half. Turman led all scorers at the break with 10.


"I am very proud of how we played on the defensive end during the first 20 minutes," added head ETSU women's basketball coach Karen Kemp, whose team has won 16 of the 17 games in the series. "We contested their shots and did a great job forcing 14 first half turnovers."


Just like in the first half, ETSU blasted out of the gates to start the second frame. The Lady Bucs scored six unanswered points in the first 59 seconds of the stanza to push their lead to 20, 42-22. ETSU would never let the visiting Bulldogs show their bark, as the Lady Buccaneers controlled the rest of the contest. UNC Asheville would get to within 15 on two separate occasions, but ETSU's defense did not let the Bulldogs inch any closer. Freshman guard Sabrina Treakle's (Richmond, Va.) lay-up at the 11:38 mark gave ETSU its largest lead of the evening, 51-30.  


For the game, ETSU held the Bulldogs to a 22.4 shooting percentage (15-67), marking the lowest for any Lady Buc opponent this season; while the Lady Bucs finished at 42.9-percent (27-63). ETSU out-rebounded UNCA, 49-47, making it the fifth straight game the Lady Bucs have won the battle of the boards. The Lady Buccaneers suffocating defense forced a season-high 27 turnovers, which converted into 24 points on the other end.


The 13 block shots were a statistic that shocked coached Kemp.


"That is something we really never practice on, but Latisha (Belcher) came off the bench and had a hand on a few of them and the same goes for Kami (Phillips)."


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.


With the victory, the Lady Bucs evened their record to 3-3 on the season, while the Bulldogs dropped to 4-4.


ETSU finished its 2007 home slate and will now embark on a five-game road swing, beginning Thursday night at Davidson. Tip is set for 7 p.m. from the John M. Belk Arena.

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