JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 3, 2009) - The rematch of the 2008 Atlantic Sun Championship lived up to its hype Saturday afternoon when the Lady Bucs and Jacksonville Dolphins took the floor inside Memorial Center.
With ETSU trailing by as many as 15 in the first half and 11 in the second, the Lady Buccaneers dug deep and powered their way past
The victory marks the Lady Bucs' seventh straight home win over a conference foe and ETSU moved its mark to 4-6, 2-1 in A-Sun play. The Dolphins are now 1-7 all-time against ETSU and saw their record fall to 5-7, 1-2.
Four Lady Buccaneer players scored in double figures, with junior Latisha Belcher (
"We definitely didn't play an entire 40 minutes of basketball today; however, I was really pleased with our effort in the second half," commented head coach Karen Kemp, who is now two wins shy of reaching her 200th career victory. "At halftime, I told the girls to cut down on our turnovers and not give up second chance points. We did exactly that in the final 20 minutes, which proved to be the difference maker."
In the first half
With the Dolphins up 15 and a fresh group of Lady Buccaneer players on the floor, (Tara)
The Lady Buccaneers had no answer on defense as the Dolphins made 19 field goals (out of 43) in the opening 20 minutes, compared to ETSU's 13-of-31 (41.9 percent). ETSU was also dominated on the glass, 25 to 19, while 12 of JU's rebounds came on the offensive end and were converted to 13 second chance points. Once again turnovers were the Lady Bucs' Achilles, as they coughed the ball up 14 times and the Dolphins responded with 19 points off those miscues. The only area ETSU got anything to work came at the free throw line - where the Lady Bucs were a perfect 7-of-7 at the charity stripe.
Fortunately for the Lady Bucs, the second half was a different story.
The Lady Bucs did an excellent job attacking the Dolphins down low to start the second half, as Belcher went to the free throw line twice in the opening minute and ETSU cut the deficit to six, 45-39, with 19:19 to play.
Jacksonville had one little run left in the tank by expanding its lead back to 11 (50-39), but over the final 18:30 the Lady Bucs outscored the Dolphins 47-27 to claim victory.
The Dolphins got to within four, 70-66, when Jessica George hit a three-pointer with seven minutes to go, but a quick 6-2 Lady Buccaneer run over the next two minutes sank the Dolphins.
For the game ETSU shot a season-high 46.4 percent (32-69) and outrebounded the Dolphins, 49-38. Fourty-two of the Lady Bucs' 86 points came in the paint, while the ETSU bench also contributed with 29. The Lady Bucs shot a season-best 81 percent (17-21) from the free throw line, as four players were a perfect 2-of-2.
DaVina Hamilton led the Dolphins with 19 points, while Crystal Grable notched a double-double (10 points/11rebounds) in the losing effort.
The Lady Bucs close out their brief two-game homestand on Monday night, when ETSU hosts
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