Lady Bucs flatten Hatters 92-63, ETSU extends home conference winning streak to 13
Junior TaRonda Wiles posted her second career double-double on Thursday night (22pts/10rebs).
Junior TaRonda Wiles posted her second career double-double on Thursday night (22pts/10rebs).

Thursday, February 05, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2009) - After being shocked by UNF last Saturday in Jacksonville, the ETSU women's basketball team bounced back in a big way, flattening Stetson 92-63 Thursday night inside Memorial Center.

 

Once again the one-two punch of TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) and Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) led the Lady Bucs as the junior duo combined for 43 of ETSU's season-high 92 points. Wiles, who received WBCA Division I National Player of the Month Honorable Mention honors three hours before tipoff, compiled her second career double-double - finishing with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Evans poured in 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals, and managed to cheer on her Lady Buccaneer teammates from the bench for the majority of the second half.

 

With the win, ETSU extended its home conference winning streak to 13 games and improved to 13-8, 11-2. More importantly, the Lady Bucs held their half-game lead in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings and now gear up for a first-place showdown on Saturday afternoon against Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles soared past USC Upstate on Thursday night, 102-53, thanks to hitting 12 3-pointers. With the loss, Stetson dropped to 8-15, 5-9.

 

"Getting off to a fast start was something we were focusing on, especially with the slip up we had at North Florida," commented head coach Karen Kemp, who saw her team win for the 10th time in its last 12 games. "This may be the closest to 40 minutes we played all year and we need to keep the same intensity up for the remainder of the season."

 

Jumping out to a quick start is something the Lady Bucs did, as they scored the games' first 10 points and forced the Hatters to burn a 30-second timeout two minutes into the contest. The spurt was started by one of Evans' two deep threes, while Wiles and junior post Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) each converted a pair of lay-ups.

 

From there, ETSU continued to pour it on the Hatters, as the Lady Bucs extended their lead to 15, 25-10, after Wiles knocked down a pair of free throws at the 12:49 mark. Unfortunately, Stetson posted a 10-2 run over the next 2:49 and cut the deficit to seven, 27-20, with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

 

However, that is as close as the visitors would get.

 

ETSU buckled down and never let the Hatters inch any closer and the Lady Bucs eventually saw their lead increase to 16, 47-31, when sophomore Shannon White (Kansas City, Kan.) pitched in a lay-up with 1:43 on the clock. Stetson closed out the half by scoring the last three points and trailed 47-34 at the break.

 

Evans (17 points) and Wiles (15 points) were the story in the first half as they combined to score 32 of ETSU's 47 points. As a team, the Lady Bucs shot 47.4 percent (18-38) from the field, compared to Stetson's 45.2 clip (14-31). ETSU did a lot its damage by forcing the Hatters into 18 turnovers - resulting into 21 points on the offensive end.

 

Once again the Lady Bucs wasted little time adding on to their 13-point halftime lead to start the second half.

 

ETSU scored 11 of the first 15 points and pushed its lead up to 20, 58-38, thanks to freshman Gwen Washington's (Manassas, Va.) lay-up with 16:02 to play. Stetson never had an answer for the strong start and eventually Kemp was able to go deep into her bench after Washington nailed one of two free throws at the 8:16 mark - putting the Lady Bucs ahead, 75-53.

 

Sophomore point guard Sabrina Treakle (Richmond, Va.) finally joined the fun as her 3-pointer with seven minutes to play put all nine Lady Buccaneer players who dressed in the scoring column. ETSU grabbed its largest lead of the evening when junior Devin Thompson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) made it a 92-61 contest after sinking one of two freebies with 37 ticks left.

 

For the game, ETSU tied its season high with 32 made field goals and 55 rebounds (24 on the offensive end). The Lady Bucs shot 41.6 percent from the floor and assisted on 18 of their 32 made shots. In addition, the Lady Bucs' pressure defense forced Stetson into 26 turnovers (scored 29 points off those miscues) and ETSU - who ranks seventh in the country with 12.8 steals per game - finished the night with 18.

 

To go with Wiles' and Evans' stellar performances, (Shannon) White contributed with nine points and four rebounds; while Washington ended with nine points, eight boards, two assists and two steals. Belcher notched four steals on the night, moving her season total to 64 thefts and is currently 27 steals shy of setting the single-season mark (Nicole Hopson, 90).

 

Stetson was led by Jessica Connor and Ashli Jackson in the loss. The Hatter tandem each netted 15 points.

 

The Lady Bucs return to action on Saturday, Feb. 7, when they host Florida Gulf Coast for the first time inside Memorial Center. Both teams have one win a piece in the season series, with ETSU knocking off the Eagles, 75-67, back on Jan. 8 in Fort Myers.

 

For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.   

 

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