Lady Bucs end homestand with 56-42 victory over UNF
Monday, January 5, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 5, 2009) - Recent history has shown when the ETSU Lady Bucs and UNF Ospreys meet, it's typically going to be a grind-it-out, hard-fought contest for the entire 40 minutes.

On Monday night the same theme continued, as ETSU managed to walk away with a 56-42 victory over UNF inside Memorial Center.

Junior TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) led the Lady Bucs with 14 points and grabbed four rebounds, while dishing out four assists. Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) - who had her streak of scoring in double figures snapped at nine straight games on Saturday versus Jacksonville - ended with 13 points, six rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes of work.

ETSU has won all six games in the series over UNF, and pushed its record to 5-6, 3-1 in A-Sun play. The Ospreys have now last eight straight games, and drop to 2-11, 1-3.

"This is our fourth year in the league, and every time we play UNF it seems like it's always a dogfight, commented head women's basketball coach Karen Kemp, who is now only one win away from her 200th career victory. "I think talent wise and athletically we are a little better, but for some reason they are always able to take us out of our rhythm and out of our game. I want to commend them for that."  

On the flip side, ETSU proved they can win in many ways Monday night. Two days after scoring a season-high 86 points against Jacksonville, the Lady Bucs managed to win despite being held to their second lowest point total of the year.

Leading by eight points at the half, the Lady Bucs quickly pushed their lead up to 12, 34-22, when Wiles nailed ETSU's second 3-pointer of the night at the 16:36 mark. The Ospreys would not back down, as Jennifer Bowen's lay-up capped off a 5-0 run over the next three and half minutes, and UNF only trailed 34-27 with 13:03 to go in the contest.

From there ETSU pulled out of its funk and posted a 10-1 run from the 13:03 mark to 8:51 to play - which extended the Lady Buccaneer lead to their largest margin of the game, 44-28. UNF cut it to 10 on two separate possessions, but the Lady Bucs did just enough to pull off a 14-point conference win.

The Lady Bucs were held to a 33.3 (22-66) shooting percentage and finished 2-of-17 from beyond the arc. Fortunately, for ETSU, they were able to force 29 turnovers and turn those into 20 points. The Lady Bucs also doubled UNF up in the paint - 24 to 12 - but the Ospreys won the rebounding battle (41-39). In addition, the Lady Bucs finished with 15 steals and 13 assists on the evening.

In the opening 20 minutes ETSU forced UNF into 20 first-half turnovers and converted them into 13 points on the offensive end; however, the Lady Buccaneers were only able to carry a 28-20 advantage into the locker room.

The Lady Bucs connected on 7 of its first 13 shot attempts and stormed out to a quick 17-4 run to begin the opening seven minutes of the contest. However, a brief 6-0 run by the Ospreys made it a seven-point game (17-10) with less than 10 minutes remaining in the half. ETSU would eventually grab its largest lead of the half, 28-13, when freshman Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) made one of her two free throw attempts at the 3:11 mark, but UNF managed to lower the deficit to eight by closing out the final three minutes with seven unanswered points.

The reason for not building a larger lead dealt with poor shooting, as ETSU was 11-for-31 in the opening 20 minutes and only drained one of its eight 3-point field goals. ETSU was also dominated on the glass, 25-13, but collected a dozen steals to UNF's two.

Freshman Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) - who led all scorers at the break with eight points - was held scoreless for the final 20 minutes of play. Junior Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) chipped in with a solid evening, finishing with seven points, seven rebounds, five steals and two assists.

UNF was led by Bowen's 17 points, while Brittany Kirkland added eight off the bench.

The Lady Bucs hit the road for the first time in 2009, when they travel to Fort Meyers, Fla. and face Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday evening. Tip time is set for 5 p.m. inside Alico Arena.

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