Lady Bucs, Bruins square off for first-place showdown Thursday night inside Memorial Center
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 14, 2009) - Thursday night's match-up between the Lady Bucs and Belmont will not only feature the last two Atlantic Sun champions, but a battle for first-place in the conference standings is at stake when the instate rivals tipoff at 7 p.m. inside Memorial Center.


ETSU - who have won its last four conference games since falling to Mercer in the league opener - begin a much-needed four-game homestand on Thursday. The Lady Bucs have played eight of the last 10 games on the road - including their last three - where ETSU went 2-1.


The Lady Bucs (7-7, 5-1 in the A-Sun) had their four-game winning streak come to a halt on Tuesday night at Liberty (64-54), but that contest marked ETSU's final non-conference game - meaning the final 14 games will be played against conference foes. A win over Belmont tomorrow night will let the Lady Bucs control their own destiny for a run at a second consecutive regular season conference crown.


Playing against A-Sun teams has fueled junior post Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.). The 2008 Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP is averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game in six contests against conference clubs. As a team, ETSU is averaging 68.3 points, 15.2 assists and 11.0 steals in the six A-Sun battles this season.


Belmont brings a record of 10-5, 5-1 in the A-Sun into Thursday's game. The Bruins are coming off a shocking 76-66 loss to Lipscomb on Monday night, where the Bruins allowed the Lady Bisons to go to the free throw line 41 times (hitting 31 of them). Junior guard Amber Rockwell leads the team in scoring (15.4), and senior post Jessica Bobbitt is averaging 11.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. Bobbitt's 2.9 blocks also rank 10th in the nation.


The all-time series is tied, 5-5, and ETSU swept Belmont in the season series a year ago. The Lady Bucs knocked off the Bruins, 73-63, on Jan. 21, 2008 in the Curb Event Center, and then followed that up with a 43-point romp (102-59) inside the Memorial Center on Feb. 18, 2008.


Reserved seat tickets for Lady Buccaneer Basketball games are $5 for adults and $3 for children 17 and under. ETSU students are admitted to games free of charge with a valid ETSU ID.

Tickets are available on game days at the center gate on the upper concourse, and can be purchased in advance by calling the ETSU Ticket Office at 423-439-3878 or online at  Tickets can also be picked up in person at the ETSU Ticket Office in the Memorial Center from 8:30-4:30 from Monday through Friday.



Fans unable to make the trip to Johnson City can view all the action live through ASun.TV. Live stats will also be available by clicking the link shown above.   


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