Saturday, March 22, 2008
The loss may have ended the Lady Bucs' season; however, the ETSU women should hold its head high after being apart of one of the best teams in program history. ETSU closed out the campaign winning 15 of its last 17 games en route to a school-record tying 21-win season and the Lady Buccaneers' first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
ETSU opened up the game strong, thanks to the hot hand of senior sharpshooter Michele DeVault (
The Lady Bucs pushed their advantage to three, 14-11, when Latisha Belcher (
DeVault's third 3-pointer of the game with six minutes left in the half cut the Lady Buc deficit to 31-22, but ETSU was unable to inch any closer for the half. The Cowgirls took their largest lead of the first half, 39-25 on Taylor Hardeman's three with 2:32 remaining before the break and led 41-29 at halftime.
After the first 20 minutes, ETSU was 12-of-34 (35.3 percent) compared to
ETSU slowly chipped into the lead and stayed in the contest with the help from the long-range jumper. Three's by Siarre Evans (
For the game, ETSU shot 35.5 percent (27-76) from the field and
Senior Michele DeVault led ETSU with 22 points and tied a career-high with six three-point field goals. DeVault's closed out her illustrious career eighth all-time on the ETSU scoring list with 1,263 points and is the all-time three-point leader with 239 treys made. Sophomore's Latisha Belcher, Siarre Evans and TaRonda Wiles also helped pace the Lady Buccaneers. Belcher netted 14, Evans 12 and Wiles chipped in with 10. However, it was the attack of All-American guard Andrea Riley and senior post Maria Cordero that helped guide the Cowgirls to victory. Riley scored a game-high 26 points and Cordero added 23 on 7-of-12 shooting.
Head coach Karen Kemp has done a tremendous job building a winning program for Lady Buccaneer basketball during the past three years and plans on having it continue. Despite losing four standout seniors, Kemp returns nine players from this season, including ETSU's leading scorer and rebounder in sophomore Siarre Evans (
For the third consecutive year, the Lady Bucs have posted a winning season; marking the first time since 1984 the feat has been accomplished, as well as posting back-to-back 20-plus wins for the first time ever. In the end, ETSU closed out the year 21-12, which also marked the most games played in a single season for the Lady Buccaneers.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.
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