Strong start, balanced scoring carries Lady Bucs past Lipscomb, 95-64
Strong start, balanced scoring carries Lady Bucs past Lipscomb, 95-64
Saturday, January 22, 2011

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2011) - The Lady Bucs opened the game on a 22-4 run and six ETSU players scored in double figures as the Blue and Gold defeated Lipscomb, 95-64, Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

Freshman Jasmine McIntosh (Bowie, Md.) led the Lady Bucs with a season-high 15 points (4-of-5 shooting), while Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) added 13 points, six assists and three rebounds in a team-high 30 minutes. Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) came off the bench to net 14 points, pull down four rebounds, and dish out three assists and fellow freshman Destiny Mitchell (Bluffton, Ga.) made the most of her 14 minutes. Mitchell finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three steals. Rounding out the scoring attack were Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) and Natalie Pickwell (Kingsport, Tenn.). Washington contributed 11 points and four rebounds, while Pickwell totaled 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the free throw line. 

With the win, the Lady Bucs climbed back to .500 - improving to 9-9, 6-3 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, Lipscomb has now lost four straight and dropped to 7-11, 4-5.

"It was good to see the bench step up and play well, but we felt they were capable of doing this all along," added head coach Karen Kemp, whose 31-point victory over Lipscomb was the largest all-time against the Lady Bisons. "Maybe they didn't have the confidence early on, but over the last couple days the bench really worked hard in practice. They came out focused and it paid off today. When Latisha and Destiny got in foul trouble, we didn't miss a beat when we went to the bench - actually they played a little bit better. It's always good to see other people step up, because that's what you need this time of year as we make a run for a championship.

"After the game I told the team we still have a lot of work to do. We can't be satisfied with any performance, because I am sure once we break down the tape, there will be some areas we can still improve on. When we do that, I think we can be a good basketball team." 

After getting off to a sluggish start Monday night at UNF, the Lady Bucs came out on fire as they scored the first 12 points of the game and led 22-4 after Davis sank her second three from the top of the arc at the 11:01 mark. From there, coach Kemp went to her bench to give her starters a breather, and Lipscomb pulled to within 13, 27-14, forcing the Lady Bucs to burn a 30-second timeout as Kemp had to rally her underclassmen. The brief pep talk worked as the Blue and Gold pushed their advantage back to 18, and ETSU controlled the remainder of the half as the Lady Bucs led 45-28 at the break.

The Lady Bucs, who had nine players reach the scoring column in the opening 20 minutes, shot 46 percent (18-39) from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc (6-12). Lipscomb missed its first eight shots and shot 28 percent (9-32) in the opening stanza. ETSU out-rebounded the Lady Bisons by 14, 29-15, and outscored the visitors from Nashville in the paint, 20-6. 

ETSU was able to use the first five minutes, forty-five seconds of the second half to push its 17-point halftime lead to 25, 59-34, thanks to Pickwell netting a pair of free throws at the 14:15 mark. 

Lipscomb never threatened as the Lady Bucs led by as many as 26 points moments later. Eventually ETSU's lead grew to 31 with just over five minutes remaining and the Lady Bucs cruised their way to victory.  

For the game, ETSU shot 49 percent (35-72) from the field and 47 percent (7-15) from beyond the arc. Lipscomb never found its shooting touch as they shot 32 percent (21-66) and 26 percent (7-27) from three. The Lady Bucs held a plus-18 margin on the glass, 51-33, while scoring 25 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds. The Blue and Gold also dominated in the paint - outscoring Lipscomb 42-18 - while gaining 53 bench points. 

With the 53 bench points, eleven players reached the scoring column, including sophomore post Tosha Austin (Chattanooga, Tenn.) - who jump-started the offensive explosion with back-to-back lay-ups to start the game. Overall, 11 of the 12 players who saw action registered at least ten minutes for the Lady Bucs.

"I think it was a great way to start - especially with Austin - because she is not a scorer for us," added Kemp. "Tonight she got the first two buckets and she seemed more relaxed after making those plays. Throughout the flow of the game she didn't look jittery after getting the ball and looked more confident out there.

"This was much-needed, because we don't have a day off for a while. It's always good to get balanced play from your team, while getting contribution from the bench. That's what we have hoped for all season. Hopefully our bench can step up and do the same thing Monday night against Belmont."    

Lipscomb was led by Jenna Bartsokas' game-high 19-point effort.

The Lady Bucs return to action Monday night when ETSU hosts in-state conference rival Belmont. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

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