A-Sun's two hottest teams set to collide Monday night
Sunday, February 10, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2008) - Someone's win streak has to end Monday night when the ETSU women's basketball team takes on conference newcomer Florida Gulf Coast in a critical Atlantic Sun match-up inside Alico Arena. Tip is set for 7 p.m.


ETSU, winners of seven straight (eight straight in conference), hold a one-game lead over the Eagles for first place in the A-Sun standings. However, Florida Gulf Coast enters Monday's contest riding an eight-game win streak and have not lost at home since Nov. 24 (vs. Eastern Kentucky).


A win over Florida Gulf Coast would tie the ETSU school record with eight straight victories. The Lady Bucs have tallied three eight-game winning streaks in program history; however, none of the current members on the ETSU playing squad were born when each of these feats have been accomplished. ETSU strung together eight consecutive wins during the 1969-70, 1980-81 and 1982-83 campaigns.


Fans unable to attend the game can watch via the live video streaming accessed at ASun.TV or by clicking the link located above. 


Below are some game notes regarding Monday's match-up:


About Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf Coast has made a huge splash in its first season since moving to Division I play. Head coach Karl Smesko has the Eagles on an eight-game winning streak. Since losing back-to-back contests to open up the Atlantic Sun season (at JU and UNF), FGCU has been a completely different team and the hottest in the league. The Eagles are also getting it done inside Alico Arena as they are 8-2 at home, but more importantly have not lost since Nov. 24 when they fell to Eastern Kentucky, 74-56.


The Eagles have three averaging double figures in scoring as senior Delia De La Torre is leading the way with 14.6 points per contest and posts a team-high 5.2 rebounds a contest. Adrianne McNally (10.9) and Chelsea Dermyer (10.5) are the other two FGCU players scoring in double digits.


As a team, FGCU loves to shoot the three as they have made 159 treys (33.8 percent). The Eagles are also a solid free throw shooting team at 70 percent, but their small size shows as FGCU is being out-rebounded, 36.2-31.5 (-4.7).


The Series

This marks the first meeting between the two clubs as Florida Gulf Coast is making its first appearance at the Division I level this season.


More About Saturday's Win Over Stetson...

The ETSU post players combined for 57 of the 73 points ... sophomore Latisha Belcher scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds ... senior Jenny Norman hit a career-best 10 field goals, ending the afternoon with 20 points in 21 minutes ... Michele DeVault moved past Angie Fickes for 11th on the all-time Lady Buccaneer scoring list with 1,110 (17pts on Saturday) ... DeVault also surpassed the 200+ plateau for career threes made (now at 202) ... Belcher and Norman became the first ETSU pair to score at least 20 points since last season ... ETSU has now won a season-high seven straight and program best eight consecutive conference games ... the Lady Bucs are now 5-0 against Stetson in A-Sun play.


Balanced Scoring Attack

ETSU does an excellent job distributing the ball and finding the open player as seven different Lady Buccaneer players have led the team in scoring this season; while four ETSU players are averaging over 10 points per game in A-Sun action. Sophomore Siarre Evans and senior Michele DeVault are tied for the team lead with 11.7 points per contest, but Jenny Norman and Latisha Belcher also highlight the scoring attack. Norman is netting 11.3 and Belcher is at 10.8. In addition, Belcher averaging team-leading 7.8 boards in the 10 conference games. Belcher also leads the club with 2.8 steals per contest. In total, 10 of the 13 Lady Buc players have clipped the double-digit scoring plateau at least once this season, and six have accomplished the feat on multiple occasions.



The Lady Bucs are in the midst of a season-long seven-game winning streak, which is one shy of tying the school record (last set in 1982-83). In addition, ETSU has won a program record eight straight conference games during this stretch (lone loss at Appalachian State). The Lady Bucs are a perfect 4-0 on the road in A-Sun action, and have not lost a road conference match-up since falling to Jacksonville last Feb. 15.


Florida Love

The Lady Bucs are currently 7-0 against teams from the Sunshine State inside Memorial Center in their last seven contests, and have won 13 of 16 against teams from Florida overall.


Flying High in February

With wins over Kennesaw State, Mercer and now Stetson, the ETSU Lady Buccaneers are a perfect 3-0 in the month of February. Seniors Michele DeVault and Jenny Norman are making the most of their final full month of regular season collegiate play. Both players are averaging 14 points per game, while DeVault is a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line and hitting 50 percent from beyond the arc (8-for-16). Norman is hitting 69 percent of her shots (20-29) in only 19 minutes of work.


Three-Point Parade

The Lady Bucs have a long streak going regarding their three-point shooting. ETSU has drained at least one three in 101 straight games. Six Lady Buccaneer players have drained a three this season, and freshman Tara Davis leads the team in three-point percentage (.410), but DeVault leads the squad with most made at 48. DeVault ranks 45th in the country with her 40.3 three-point field goal percentage. The last time the Lady Bucs have gone without a trey was on Jan. 2. 2005, when they played UTC. 


Lady Bucs Great in 08

Since opening the season 3-7, the Lady Buccaneers have been a force to be reckoned with as they are currently 10-3 over their last 13 games. During the last 13 games, the Lady Bucs have outscored their opponents by almost 12 points per game (74.7-62.8) and are forcing 24.5 turnovers per contest as well.


Lady Bucs Havin' Fun in the A-Sun

Prior to the season, ETSU was picked to finish first in the conference according to the media and second by the coaches. The Lady Bucs are living up to the rankings as they are tied for first at 9-1. During the last two seasons, ETSU has tallied 28 regular season conference wins and the Lady Bucs have the highest winning percentage among conference foes both all-time and in conference play. ETSU is currently 49-16 (.754) all-time against current A-Sun members and 38-13 (.745) in league play (including the conference tournament). The Lady Bucs have perfect marks against Campbell (5-0), Kennesaw State (5-0), North Florida (5-0) and USC Upstate (1-0) all-time as well as against Stetson (5-0) in league play only.


A Look Ahead

ETSU will return home and close out the 2007-08 home portion of its schedule next weekend. The Lady Bucs kick things off Saturday with Lipscomb. Tip is set for 1:30 p.m. inside Memorial Center.