Lady Bucs overcome sluggish start to defeat Lipscomb, 82-59
Saturday, January 30, 2010

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 30, 2010) - A sluggish start and snowstorm still couldn't slow down the Lady Bucs on Saturday afternoon.


Junior point guard Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and freshman guard Johneshia Good (Johnson City) came off the bench to give ETSU a spark, and the Lady Bucs defeated Lipscomb, 82-59, inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.


Davis, who was one of five Lady Buccaneer players to score in double figures, finished with 16 points, six assists and six steals; while Good poured in a career-high 10 points in 14 minutes of action. Senior TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) paced ETSU with a game-high 18 points.


The victory marked ETSU's eighth straight win and seventh straight at home, as the Lady Bucs improved to 12-7, 10-1 in A-Sun play. Lipscomb suffered its sixth straight loss and fell to 4-18, 2-10.


"At halftime I just wanted to go in and explain to them that we are a much better defensive club than we showed in the first half," added head coach Karen Kemp, who improved to 11-1 all-time versus Lipscomb. "I really didn't lose my cool too much, because this team knows what they need to do and that's the beauty of this team. I just went into the locker room and let them know what they needed to do - and they responded."


The Lady Bucs responded and did so in a big way.


After getting off to a rough start which included 2-of-12 shooting and five turnovers, the Lady Bucs were trailing 11-6 in the opening 8 minutes, 17 seconds of the contest. However, when coach Kemp pulled her starters at the 14:08 mark, the reserves clicked and pulled ETSU to a 16-13 lead after Ashley Benedict (Rome, Ohio) sank a pair of free throws with 9:23 on the clock.


"Our starting five came out flat," commented Kemp. "They weren't ready to play - mentally for whatever reason - so I felt like we had players on our bench that were ready to compete and give this team a spark."


From there, four of the five starters returned to the court, and it looked like the lesson wasn't learned after the Lady Bisons regained an 18-16 advantage following Hannah Phillips' lay-in with 8:19 to play before intermission.


Fortunately, things clicked, and after ETSU mounted a 13-2 run over the next 3 minutes, 30 seconds, Lipscomb was forced to burn a 30-second timeout as the Lady Bucs led, 29-20, with 4:33 showing on the clock. The Lady Bucs would eventually grab a 14-point lead, 42-28, after Good nailed her second three-pointer from the corner, but an Anna Bowers trey with three seconds remaining in the half cut the Lipscomb deficit to 42-31 at the break.


Davis ignited the Lady Bucs in the opening 20 minutes, as the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native scored 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. As a team, ETSU shot 43.8 percent (14-32), while Lipscomb went 11-of-29 (37.9 percent). The Lady Bucs also did a much better job controlling the basketball in the final 15 minutes, 54 seconds, as ETSU only turned the ball over twice during that span. ETSU assisted on seven of its 14 shots, while Lipscomb had nine (11 makes).


In the second half, ETSU wasted little time extending its lead, as the Lady Bucs pushed their 11-point advantage to 18, 53-35, when Davis found Wiles open for a jumper at the 14:46 mark. Despite connecting on three 3-pointers over the next two and a half minutes, Lipscomb still couldn't make a dent in its deficit (59-44).


Then, over the last 11 minutes, 55 seconds, the Lady Bucs controlled the tempo and came away with the 23-point win.


For the game, ETSU shot 38.7 percent from the floor (29-75), compared to Lipscomb's 36.8 shooting percentage (21-57). Both teams hit eight 3-pointers in the contest, while the Lady Bucs made seven more free throws - 16 (24 attempts) to nine (19 attempts). ETSU tied a season-high with 55 rebounds and held a plus-17 margin in the category. Lipscomb turned the ball over 17 times and ETSU turned those mistakes into 25 points on the offensive end.


Joining Davis, Good and Wiles in double figures were Tarita Gordon (Wichita, Kan.) and Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) Gordon netted 14 points, while Evans finished with 11 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes of work.


Once again, the Lady Bucs did a great job utilizing their bench, as they accounted for 37 points and 11 of the 12 players played at least ten minutes.


"I have always said from the beginning of the year, that I thought this was the deepest team I have had in quite some time," said Kemp. "We talk about team all the time and we are all in this together. Whether you get five or twenty-five minutes, you come in and compete hard when your name is called."


Lipscomb's Jenna Bartsokas led the Lady Bisons with 11 points, while Bronson pitched in with 10 off the bench.


The Lady Bucs close out the three-game homestand with Belmont on Monday evening. Tip is set for 4:45 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.  


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