Lady Bucs post 10th straight conference home win after rolling past Lipscomb, 70-51
Saturday, January 17, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 17, 2009) - On a day where head coach Karen Kemp and junior star Siarre Evans were honored with a special pregame ceremony for reaching two impressive milestones last week in Florida, the ETSU women's basketball team capped off the festive afternoon with a 70-51 victory over Lipscomb on Saturday inside Memorial Center.


The pregame ceremony featured Kemp and Evans receiving commemorative game balls. Kemp received hers for reaching the 200-win milestone with an eight-point victory at Florida Gulf Coast last Thursday, while Evans became the 16th Lady Buccaneer player to reach the 1,000-point club after scoring 13 points last weekend at Stetson. 


ETSU (9-7, 7-1) had some fun in its largest win of the season, as nine of the 10 Lady Buccaneer players who dressed scored - including Evans pouring in a game-high 17 points. Evans also grabbed 11 rebounds, marking her 23rd career double-double and eighth this season. Joining Evans in double figures were TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.), Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.). Wiles, who was coming off her career high 31-point effort on Thursday night, finished with 13 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Both Davis and Washington netted 11 points apiece.


The victory marked ETSU's 10th straight home conference win and improved to 8-1 all-time over Lipscomb. In addition, the Lady Bucs went 6-1 during the stretch that saw them play a NBA style schedule, which had ETSU playing seven games in 15 days. Lipscomb (4-13, 2-6) - who has now lost all three games played in Johnson City - dropped its second straight contest.


"I was really pleased with the way we came out after halftime and thought we played a lot better defensively, added Kemp, who notched her 203rd career victory. "We were able to force more turnovers and turn them into points, which is why I think we were able to win by 19."


The Lady Bucs came out of the break with a lot of intensity in the final 20 minutes and forced Lipscomb into 15 second-half turnovers and converted them into 13 points on the offensive end.


ETSU took coach Kemp's halftime speech to heart, as they used a 24-6 run in the first 11 minutes of the half to push its six-point halftime lead to 24, 61-37, with 8:48 to play. Unselfish play led to the attack as four different Lady Buccaneer players scored during the blitz and six of the ETSU's 16 assists came in the big run.


Lipscomb never had an answer for the big punch the Lady Bucs threw at them, and ETSU eventually saw its lead balloon to a season-high 26, 65-39, after Devin Thompson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) laid one in with 5:27 to play.


The Lady Bisons fought till the very end by closing the final five minutes on an 11-5 run, but it was too little too late as ETSU mounted the 19-point win.  


ETSU went 28-of-77 for the game (36.4 percent), but finally found an answer for its long range shooting, as the Lady Bucs drilled a season-high seven 3-pointers. The Lady Bucs also finished with a season-high 20 steals and assisted on 16 of their 28 field goals made. Despite being outrebounded, 47-44, ETSU managed to pull down 17 offensive boards - resulting in 20 second-chance points. Lipscomb was held to 30 percent shooting (18-60).   


In the first half, the Lady Bucs jumped out to an early 17-8 lead in the opening seven minutes of the contest, but two quick fouls by Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) and Washington sent the post players to the bench for the remainder of the half. Lipscomb was able to take advantage and clip the deficit to six, 21-15, when Chelsea Burroughs connected on a deep 3-pointer in front of the press table, but Evans quickly responded with a three of her own to lift the Lady Bucs' advantage back to nine, 24-15, with 10:13 left in the half. ETSU would eventually extend its lead to as many as 11, 32-21, but a technical foul by Shannon White (Kansas City, Kan.) fueled a 6-0 Lipscomb run and the Lady Bisons only trailed 32-27 with 3:47 remaining. Fortunately, the Lady Bucs were able to take a 37-31 lead into the locker room.


For the half, ETSU shot 35.9 percent (14-39) and after starting 1-of-9 in the first seven minutes, Lipscomb ended the half on fire by going 9-for-16 in the final 13 minutes to post a 37.0 shooting percentage. Free throw shooting kept the Lady Bisons in the game, as they were a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe, compared to ETSU's 4-of-6 showing. The Lady Bucs did force Lipscomb into 14 first-half turnovers, but only scored four points off them; however, the Lady Bisons took full advantage of the five miscues ETSU made as they posted eight points off the turnovers. Evans led all players with 13 points and eight rebounds at the break.


Washington had her streak of back-to-back games with a double-double come to an end.


To go with Washington's 11 points, the Manassas, Va. native also tallied eight rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Davis finished with three assists and four steals, while Thompson ended with three points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Despite not reaching the scoring column, freshman Natasha Dixon (Brooklyn, N.Y.) dished out a season-high four assists and forced three steals.


The Lady Bucs did a tremendous job cutting down on their personal fouls in the final 20 minutes, as they were only called for five. Also, after Lipscomb went to the line 10 times in the first half, the Lady Bisons only made two trips to the charity stripe in the second half.  


Clair Waggener and Burroughs netted a team-high 10 points for Lipscomb.


After playing seven games in the last 15 days, the Lady Bucs will finally get a much-deserved break as ETSU won't return to action until Thursday, Jan. 22 when they host Campbell. Tip time is set for 4:45 p.m. inside Memorial Center.


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