Lady Bucs to face fifth-ranked Xavier in first round of NCAA Tournament
Monday, March 15, 2010

ETSU, Musketeers to tip off Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Cincinnati


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 15, 2010) - After being the first team to punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament over a week ago, the ETSU women's basketball team finally learned its seed and first round match-up on Monday evening during the ESPN selection show.


With over 100-plus fans watching on inside Fanatics, ETSU (23-8) received the No. 14 seed and will take on third-seeded Xavier (27-3) in the first round in Cincinnati. Tip is set for 2:30 p.m. inside Xavier's Cintas Center, and will be broadcast on ESPN with Bob Wischusen handling the play-by-play and Stephanie White doing the color analysis.  


"We thought we would be around a 13 or 14 seed, because we didn't have a big win over one of the power conferences this year," added head coach Karen Kemp, who has now guided the Lady Bucs to all five postseason appearances in school history. "A fourteen is a good seed and we are familiar with Xavier since we played them two years ago. They do have two really good post players, so we have to be ready to battle with them. Cincinnati is not that far, so hopefully we will have our fans travel up and support the team on Sunday.


"This is very exciting because going to the tournament for a third straight year is rare. However, this time is more about taking care of business. We want to make some noise and surprise a lot of people, because most people would be if we defeated Xavier."


The Lady Bucs, who enter the tournament with a program-best 23 wins, have won ten straight and 19 of their last 20 games. ETSU's ten consecutive wins puts them amongst the nations best, as the Lady Bucs are tied for the ninth longest winning streak in the country (Liberty).


For the third consecutive season, ETSU is making a trip to the NCAA Tournament after defeating North Florida, 63-62, back on March 6 - earning the automatic bid from the Atlantic Sun Conference. Senior guard TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) was the hero, as her off-balance, running shot with two seconds remaining banked off the glass and dropped into the net to put the Lady Bucs up by one.


This marks the ninth NCAA appearance all-time for Xavier and the 12th time in the last 13 seasons that the Musketeers have reached national postseason play. The program currently carries a 4-9 record all time in the tournament and the last trip was made by last year's squad, which received a No. 5 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional. Xavier fell 74-59 to No. 12 seed Gonzaga in Seattle in first round action of the 2009 NCAA Championship.


Xavier won its second consecutive A-10 regular season crown this year and is led by the junior tandem of Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips. Both are on the Naismith Award Midseason Top-30 list and Harris was a John R. Wooden Award Midseason Watch List honoree.


The Lady Bucs have faced the Musketeers once in program history with Xavier taking a 76-67 contest back on December, 16, 2007 inside the Cintas Center. Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) recorded one of her 54 career double-doubles - finishing with 21 points and 13 rebounds; while Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) added 10 points and six assists.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball as they make final preparations for the NCAA Tournament, visit