Evans' timely shooting helps Lady Bucs sneak past Radford
Siarre Evans led the Lady Bucs with 20 points Wednesday night.
Siarre Evans led the Lady Bucs with 20 points Wednesday night.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 20, 2006) - Freshman Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) sank two clutch threes in the final six minutes, which helped the Lady Bucs hang on and sneak past Radford, 54-52, Wednesday night in Memorial Center. ETSU has now won eight of the last nine games in the series, including five straight in Johnson City. The Lady Bucs ended a two-game skid and improve to 5-6, while the Highlanders drop to 4-5.


            Evans finished the game 7-14 from the field and led all scorers with 20 points, while Radford had three players reach double figures in the losing effort. Johnette Walker led the way for the Highlanders with 16 points, and teammate Corrie Fertitta came away with her second consecutive double-double performance (10 points, 11 rebounds).


            "This was a big win for us tonight as we now head into the break with a lot of confidence," said head coach Karen Kemp. "The break will be good for the kids, because they need the rest both physically and mentally in order to get charged up for conference play."


            The Lady Bucs exploded out of the locker room to start the second half by going on a 10-3 run, giving them their largest lead of the night 37-21 with 16:31 remaining. However, Radford would control the next 10:22 as they went on a 20-6 run, cutting the Lady Bucs lead to 43-41 at the 6:09 mark.


            With ETSU up two, Evans stepped up in the corner and drained the first of two clutch three-pointers, which put the Lady Bucs up five, 46-41 with 5:38 remaining in the game. The Highlanders would come back down the court and make two free throws to bring them back to within three. Two minutes after Evans nailed the first key three; she stepped up again when senior Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) found the freshman open off an inbounds play and put the Lady Bucs up eight with 3:13 to play.


            Things got exciting down the stretch as Radford rattled off seven unanswered points, and got to within one, 51-50, with forty-six seconds remaining. After missing the front end of a one-and-one earlier, Wilhoit would redeem herself by sinking two critical free throws with twenty-two seconds left, putting ETSU up 53-50.


Radford would come down and answer with a layup, but Kelly Turman (Atlanta) gave the Lady Bucs the 54-52 lead after hitting one of two free throws. The Highlanders had one final opportunity to steal the game away, but pressure defense by ETSU kept Radford from getting off a final shot.


After a slow start ETSU would eventually lead for the final 27:30, when Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) put the Lady Bucs up 13-12 at the 7:30 mark in the first half. Both teams combined for 45 turnovers, but bench points proved to key as the Lady Bucs outscored the Highlanders 17-4.


            In the first half, Radford jumped out to an early 8-0 lead as ETSU missed its first 10 shots and was held scoreless for almost seven minutes. Evans would eventually get the Lady Bucs going when she hit a three-pointer at the 13:10 mark.  From there the Lady Bucs would calm down and post a 24-4 run which gave them their largest lead of the half at 24-14 with just under four minutes remaining before the break.


            Pressure defense caused Radford some problems in the first half as ETSU was able to force 18 turnovers, and turn them into 11 points. Neither team shot the ball well as the Highlanders were held to a dismal 26.1 shooting percentage (6-21), while the Lady Bucs were a little better at 32.3 percent (10-31). Evans led all scorers with 13 points (5-8), and Johnette Walker chipped in eight for Radford.


            After a nine-day layoff, the Lady Bucs will close out their non-conference schedule at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Dec. 30. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside McBrayer Arena.  

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