JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 26, 2009) - Typically it has been the second half where the Lady Bucs dominate this season, but on Thursday night it was the exact opposite.
Junior guard Siarre Evans (
Evans finished the game with 26 points, 12 rebounds and a career-tying six steals. Now in seven games this month the
The win marked ETSU's fifth straight and moved the Lady Bucs into a tie for first-place with
"We came out focused and ready to play early on," commented head coach Karen Kemp, whose team knocked off
"Siarre is such a winner and competitor," added Kemp. "Every night she steps out on the floor she is going to give it everything she has. After our win at Upstate the other night, I told the team Siarre put them on her back and she is capable of doing so at any given moment. In my mind she is the best player in the league."
Scoring is what Evans did early as the Lady Bucs grabbed the opening tip and she drove in for the first two points of the game. After that bucket, ETSU held the momentum by limiting
However, Kennesaw found some rhythm, as the Owls clipped the deficit to 11, 24-13, after Greteya Kelley's lay-up with 8:20 on the clock. Fortunately, the Lady Bucs responded and Evans' third trey of the half put ETSU ahead 14, and Gwen Washington's (
But once again Kennesaw continued to fight and claw its way back into the contest, as DeAndrea Bullock's free throw at the 1:10 mark lowered the ETSU lead to nine, 37-28, and the Lady Bucs went into their locker room with a 10-point lead (41-31).
ETSU shot 41.0 percent for the half (16-39) and went 6-of-8 from the free throw line, compared to the Owls' 27.5 shooting clip and 7-for-13 showing at the charity stripe. The Lady Bucs did an excellent job with their ball control in the first 20 minutes, as they only turned the ball over five times; however, ETSU gave
The Lady Bucs looked to have things under control to start the first four minutes of the second half when Washington's 3-pointer put ETSU up 16, 51-35, but the Owls quickly cut it down to seven (57-50) thanks to Kelley's lay-up at the 10:56 mark.
Then, with less than four minutes to play, Jennifer Baker would pull Kennesaw State to within six (65-59) after she sank two free throws, but Evans moved the Lady Buccaneer lead back to eight with 2:52 to play.
Again, the Owls didn't fold and made it a 67-61 contest, but a key offensive rebound by Shannon White (
After the offensive rebound, sophomore point guard Kami Phillips (
For the game, ETSU shot 34.2 percent (26-76) and finished only 4-of-20 from beyond the arc (20 percent). The Owls, who shot 48.1 percent in the second half, moved their shooting percentage up to 35.8 for the contest (24-67). ETSU forced Kennesaw into 21 turnovers and converted them into 20 points; however, the Lady Bucs were out-rebounded 54 to 52.
To go along with Evans' stellar play, junior post Latisha Belcher (
The Lady Bucs close out regular season play on Saturday afternoon when they host Mercer. Tip time is set for 1:30 p.m.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.