Strong shooting, balanced scoring lifts Lady Bucs past Holy Cross, 90-68
Strong shooting, balanced scoring lifts Lady Bucs past Holy Cross, 90-68
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Dec. 28, 2010) - Four Lady Bucs scored in double figures and ETSU shot a season-high 54-percent from the field as the Blue and Gold stormed past Holy Cross 90-68 Tuesday evening in the first game of the Marriott Cavalier Classic inside Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena.

Freshman Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) paced the Lady Bucs as she poured in 20, while Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.) scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half. Mitchell, who shot 9-of-14, also pulled down six rebounds, dished out four assists and forced two steals in 25 minutes of work. Meanwhile, senior point guard Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) finished with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds. Rounding out the scoring attack was red-shirt senior post Latisha Belcher's (Martinsville, Va.) 11-point performance.

With the win, ETSU improved to 4-6 on the year, while Holy Cross dipped to 4-8.   

The first half was a game of runs, but the Lady Bucs were able to record the largest spurt and led by eight at the break, 45-37.

Holy Cross came out on fire as the Crusaders hit their first three shots and took an early 9-2 lead after Alex Smith knocked down the team's second three-pointer of the contest with only one minute, six seconds coming off the clock. Fortunately, the Lady Bucs finally found their groove as they mounted a 23-5 run over the next 7 minutes, 33 seconds, and ETSU led 25-14 after Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) capped off the spurt with a lay-up at the 11:21 mark.

The Lady Bucs were able to extend their lead to 14 after Mitchell found Iesha Robinson (Martinsburg, W. Va.) open for an easy bucket, but the Crusaders pulled to within seven, 43-36, when Smith drained her fourth three-pointer of the half with less than a minute to play.

ETSU took advantage of some hot shooting in the opening 20 minutes as the Lady Bucs nearly shot 60 percent (20-34) - and after making their first three attempts of the game - Holy Cross cooled off as the Crusaders shot 41.9 percent (13-31). Most of the scoring came from Pickwell as she shot 7-of-10 and led all scorers with 16 points at the half. The three-point shot kept Holy Cross in the contest as the Crusaders hit six from long range, while the Lady Bucs were 3-for-7. ETSU dominated Holy Cross in the paint by outscoring the Crusaders 22-8, and the Lady Bucs turned five offensive rebounds into six second-chance points.

The Lady Bucs' shooting surge carried over to the second half as ETSU connected on nine of its first 16 attempts and extended the lead to 18, 65-47, thanks to a Jasmine McIntosh (Bowie, Md.) jumper with 13:27 left in the contest.

From there, Holy Cross managed to make it a 13-point contest at the midway point of the second half, but the Lady Bucs held the Crusaders to nine points in the final 8 minutes, 59 seconds of the contest and ETSU walked away with the 22-point victory.

For the game, the Lady Bucs made a season-best 38 field goals (70 attempts), while Holy Cross shot 35.3 percent (24-68). ETSU also dished out a season-high 17 assists, while out-rebounding the Crusaders by nine, 44 to 35. The Blue and Gold held a plus-28 margin in paint scoring (48-20) and scored 31 points off 20 turnovers.

Holy Cross, who also had four reach double figures in scoring, was led by Smith's 16-point performance.     

The Lady Bucs will now face the winner of Virginia/North Carolina A&T in the Marriott Cavalier Classic Championship on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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