"Second half" Lady Bucs rally past Lipscomb, 68-55
Friday, February 13, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2009) - The Lady Bucs can take a huge sigh of relief following their 13-point win over Lipscomb on Friday night.


Trailing by six at the break, ETSU went on to outscore Lipscomb by 19 points in the final 20 minutes, and the Lady Bucs rallied past the Lady Bisons, 68-55, in front of a raucous crowd of 1,231 fans inside Allen Arena.


With the win, ETSU improved to 14-9, 12-3 in the A-Sun, and now the Lady Bucs set up a huge showdown Sunday afternoon at Belmont. Belmont trails ETSU by one-game for the number one seed in next month's Atlantic Sun Tournament. Lipscomb dropped to 4-20, 2-13 with the loss.


The Lady Buccaneer starters got the job done tonight as they scored all but five of ETSU's 68 points. For the 11th time this season, junior TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) led Lady Bucs with a game-high 19 points and fellow junior Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) tallied her 12th double-double of the season. Evans finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36 minutes. Rounding out the scoring attack was junior Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) and freshman Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.). Belcher poured in 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds; while Washington ended with 11 points and five boards.


The opening eight minutes of the first half saw one tie and six lead changes, but with the score knotted at 8-all, the Lady Bucs opened a little cushion by posting an 8-2 run over the next five and a half minutes and grabbed a 16-10 lead with 8:31 remaining in the half. However, shades of the North Florida game came back to haunt ETSU, and Lipscomb crept back into the contest. With the Lady Bucs ahead 21-18 at the 3:58 mark, Lipscomb closed out the half on a 13-4 run to take a 31-25 advantage into the locker room.


ETSU had no rhythm on offense as they shot 31-percent (9-29) in the first 20 minutes and turned the ball over 13 times. Lipscomb shot 41.4 percent (12-29) from the floor and scored 13 points off the Lady Buccaneer miscues. The Lady Bucs had a 25-17 advantage on the glass, but the Lady Bisons hit four 3-pointers to ETSU's one.


Whatever was said in the locker room at halftime worked for the Lady Bucs, as they used the first 1:17 of the second half to evaporate their six-point deficit, thanks to a lay-up by Belcher and threes by Wiles and Evans - forcing Lipscomb to burn its third 30-second timeout of the game. In total, ETSU used a 12-2 run to open the first two minutes and fifty seconds of the half to grab a 37-33 lead, but four unanswered points by Lipscomb evened the game at 37-all with 16:05 to play.


Perfection was the key to ETSU's success to start the second half, as the Lady Bucs were a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor (3-of-3 from beyond the arc) and led 42-37 in the first four minutes and forty-three second of the final stanza.


The Lady Bucs were able to expand their lead to eight, 49-41, after Wiles connected on a jumper at the 11-minute mark, but two quick Lipscomb jumpers lowered its deficit to four, 49-45.


Once again just when ETSU looked to have control of the game (55-48), a 3-pointer by Jilian Partin cut the Lady Buccaneer lead to four, 55-51, with less than six minutes to go in the contest. From there, Washington sank a huge 3-pointer from the top of the arc - putting the Lady Bucs up 60-53 - with 4:33 remaining in the contest.


Washington's trey proved to be the dagger as Lipscomb was only able to get to within five (60-55) and the Lady Bucs closed out the remaining four minutes on an 8-0 run to claim the 13-point victory.


For the game, the Lady Bucs shot 39.4 percent from the field (26-66) and after going 1-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first half, ETSU closed out the game with a 4-of-7 clip to post a 41.7 shooting percentage from 3-point land (5-12). ETSU dominated the Lady Bisons on the glass (50-35) and the Lady Bucs scored 24 points off 24 forced turnovers. In addition to the 50 rebounds, half of them came on the offensive end - which in the end - resulted into 17 second-chance points.


Lipscomb had three players score in double figures, with Partin leading the way with 16 points.   


The Lady Bucs continue on with their four-game road swing, as ETSU faces Belmont on Sunday afternoon. Tip is set for 3 p.m. (central) / 4 p.m. (eastern) inside the Curb Event Center.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.