JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 7, 2010) - Four Lady Bucs scored in double figures, including senior Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) netting a team-high 20 points, as the ETSU women's basketball team downed King, 80-67, Sunday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Twelve of Davis' points came at the free throw line as she went to the stripe 14 times, while also tallying eight assists, six rebounds, and five steals in 26 minutes of work. Meanwhile, freshman Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) finished 5-of-7 from the field to record 15 points and seven rebounds, and junior Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) scored her 13 points in the opening 20 minutes of play. Rounding out the scoring attack for the Lady Bucs was freshman Jasmine McIntosh's (Bowie, Md.) 10-point effort.
"We are a very young team, so we are going to have slow starts like we did today, because we are still trying to grow and get accustomed to playing at this level," said head coach Karen Kemp. "At one time we had three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior out there, so that's going to make me old really quick; however, I think if we can hang in there we have potential to be a very good basketball team."
Like coach Kemp said, the Lady Bucs got off to a slow start and King took advantage of it, as the Tornado connected on 7 of their first 12 field goals to take a 24-17 lead following Brooke Johnson's jumper at the 11:49 mark. Johnson wasn't done lighting it up as she sank a three-pointer one minute later, giving King its largest lead of the game, 27-18. However, that's when the Lady Bucs executed their half-court trap to perfection as ETSU posted a 17-2 run over the next 7 minutes, 37 seconds to take a 35-29 lead after Washington drained a jumper with 3:13 showing on the clock. From there, ETSU took a three-point advantage into the break, 37-34.
"I think once we turned to our half-court trap that gave us some more energy as we forced some turnovers and turned those into some easy baskets on the offensive end," added Kemp. "As I am still trying to figure out what pieces we have early on, I feel like we have to turn to that trap, because it gives us the spark we are looking for."
The Lady Bucs shot 39.3 percent (11-28) in the opening 20 minutes, while King finished 33.3 percent (9-27) despite opening the first eight-plus minutes hitting at 58.3 percent clip. Turnovers and fouls plagued both teams in the first stanza as they combined for 28 turnovers and 27 personal fouls. Fortunately, ETSU did an excellent job at the charity stripe by netting 14 of its 17 attempts, and King was 12-of-16.
ETSU stormed out of the gates to begin the second half as the Lady Bucs extended their three-point halftime lead to 18 (58-40) thanks to McIntosh's jumper at the 10:50 juncture of the contest. King didn't back down as they lowered the deficit to ten on two separate possessions, but with the scoreboard reading 60-50 in favor of the Lady Bucs at the 7:36 mark, ETSU rattled off the next eight points to take command with less than five minutes to play.
The Lady Bucs shot 40.3 percent (27-67) for the contest, compared to King's 36.8 shooting percentage (21-57). After being out-rebounded by six (23-17) at the half, ETSU did a better job crashing the boards as they won the battle, 45 to 41. ETSU, who scored 33 points off 31 forced turnovers, had 32 bench points.
King had three players in double figures with Ashley Deans leading the way with a game-high 26 points.
Coach Kemp and the Lady Bucs will now gear up for the season opener as they travel to Chattanooga on Friday, Nov. 12. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside McKenzie Arena.
"Chattanooga will be ready for us since it is the season opener, but also because we had their number last season here in Johnson City," added Kemp. "Going down to Chattanooga is always emotional because that is where I spent seven years before I came to ETSU, so it's kind of like going home. But hopefully this time when I go back home we will come back to Johnson City with a victory."