ETSU surges back, downs Kennesaw State, 69-65
ETSU surges back, downs Kennesaw State, 69-65
Monday, February 18, 2013

Lady Bucs sweep season series against the Owls, snap four-game losing streak

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2013) – After falling behind by as many as 16 points in the first half, the Lady Bucs fought back to take a lead early in the second period and held on for a 69-65 victory over the Kennesaw State Owls in a back-and-forth battle on Monday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center. The triumph snaps a four-game losing skid for the Lady Bucs who haven’t come away victorious since Feb. 2 vs. Lipscomb.

With the win, ETSU improves to 7-15 overall and 5-10 in Atlantic Sun play, while Kennesaw State drops to 7-19 overall and 3-11 in league action.

“I was extremely proud of our young ladies tonight,” ETSU head coach Karen Kemp said. “We got down by 16 and they could have hung their heads and gave up, but they did not. They continued to work hard and put us in a good position at halftime and continued to fight. Our team did not give up and fought extremely hard which put us in the position to get the win tonight.”

Through the early portion of the first half, Kennesaw State was red-hot from three-point range, burying four triples before the first media timeout at the 15:11 mark. The Owls followed with another trifecta to become a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc in the first 10 minutes. This hot shooting allowed KSU to build up a 27-11 advantage with 10:45 remaining in the period. ETSU responded to this large deficit with a burst of its own, a 22-9 run over the final 10 minutes of the stanza. This streak was aided by the Lady Bucs dominating in the paint offensively and by Kennesaw State finally cooling off from behind the arc without an additional made three-pointer the rest of the way. ETSU went into the break with the momentum and only a 36-33 deficit.

KSU started the second period strong and increased their lead to as many as seven points minutes into the half, but the Lady Bucs answered with an 11-3 streak to take a one point lead, 44-43, with 14:14 remaining. The two squads traded baskets thereafter, consisting of two ties and two lead changes. ETSU used a 6-0 burst from the 7:39 to 5:49 marks to capture their largest lead of the game of six points, 58-52. The Owls tried to get back into it but the Blue and Gold continued to answer KSU’s showings with baskets of their own to maintain a small advantage. Free throws and clutch shots down the stretch, as well as crucial defensive plays, allowed the Lady Bucs to hang on for a 69-65 victory.

For ETSU, sophomore center Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) once again proved to be a strong, inside force as she totaled team-highs of 22 points and nine rebounds. Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) also contributed to the effort with 10 points, while Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) added nine points and nine rebounds as well. Meanwhile, KSU was led by sharpshooter Nicole Adams who had a game-high 23 points, including 6-of-7 from behind the arc. The Owls also featured two additional double-digit scorers in Ashley Holliday, who scored 16 points, and in Sametria Gideon, who recorded 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Lady Bucs improved upon their horrible shooting performance against Mercer by shooting a respectable 41 percent from the field and 61 percent from the free throw line. ETSU did struggle again shooting from deep though, making only two out of their 11 attempts from downtown. The story of the game proved to be the Blue and Gold’s dominance in the paint with 42 points, compared to only 16 for KSU. ETSU also turned in a season-low five turnovers and cashed in on the Owls' 17 turnovers with 18 points. The Lady Bucs also held advantages in bench points (19-10) and fast break points (4-0), as well as a slight edge in rebounding (37-36) and turned their 14 offensive rebounds into 16 second chance points.

Meanwhile, Kennesaw State shot a solid 45 percent from the field and 54 percent from three (7-of-13) after draining five triples in the first period. The Owls also heaved at a 70 percent clip from the charity stripe (16-of-23) and totaled 12 assists on 21 made field goals.   

The Lady Bucs begin their final regular season road trip of the year when they travel to Jacksonville, Fla. to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. inside Swisher Gymnasium.

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