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ETSU's upset bid falls short against 13th ranked Arizona State, 80-67
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Evans posts third straight double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds
HONOLULU, Hawai'i (Nov. 28, 2009) - Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but it was not enough to upset No. 13/17 ranked Arizona State, as the Sun Devils closed out the final six minutes on a 16-5 run to hold off ETSU 80-67 on Saturday afternoon inside Hawaii's Stan Sherriff Center.
Evans posted her third straight double-double performance moving her career total to 36. The Griffin, Ga. native also moved past Lauren Trantham (2001-04) for fifth all-time on the ETSU rebounding charts with her 12-rebound effort (823 career rebounds).
After opening the season with a 24-point win over Chattanooga back on Nov. 13 in Johnson City, ETSU (1-3) has now suffered three straight losses (at Mississippi State, at Arkansas, vs. Arizona State). With the win, the Sun Devils improved to 4-1.
In the first half, the Lady Bucs did a great job attacking and getting to the free throw line early, as five of their first nine points came from the charity stripe, and ETSU was all knotted up with Arizona State following Tarita Gordon's (Wichita, Kan.) floater at the 14:28 mark.
From there Arizona State capped off a 9-2 run to lead 19-11, but ETSU responded with a lay-up from Ashley Benedict (Rome, Ohio) and a three-pointer from Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) - closing the gap to 19-16 with 11:02 on the clock. Unfortunately, the Lady Buccaneer run came to halt and the Sun Devils saw their lead soar to 11, 27-16, when Kayli Murphy laid one in at the 9:11 mark. ETSU did a solid job keeping the game within reach for the remainder of the half, but poor free throw shooting down the stretch cost the Lady Bucs from taking the advantage in the locker room. Instead, the Sun Devils led by four (41-37) after the opening 20 minutes.
Despite being in 80-plus degree weather, ETSU shot a frigid 55.6 (10-18) from the free throw line and 41.9 percent from the floor (13-31). Arizona State shot 50 percent (16-32) in the open half, but was 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. The Lady Bucs were not fazed by a significant height disadvantage, as they were only out-rebounded by five (23-18) - but more importantly - ETSU held the Sun Devils to a mere five offensive rebounds.
ETSU came out shooting lights out to start the second half - connecting on four of its first five field goals (6-for-6 at the free throw line) - and led 52-44 with 15:45 remaining in the contest. However, Arizona State fought back with nine straight points of its own over the next three and a half minutes, and regained the lead (53-52) following a pair of free throws from Kimberly Bandon. The Sun Devil run extended to 13 unanswered, until TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) drained a three-pointer in the corner, cutting the deficit to 57-55 at the 10:42 mark.
The Lady Bucs pulled within two, 64-62, after Gordon sank one of her two free throw attempts, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Arizona State and a technical foul by Evans gave the Sun Devils a 72-62 lead with 4:30 in the contest.
The swing of events changed the ball game and ETSU never threatened during the final four minutes of the game.
For the contest, the Lady Bucs shot 41.8 percent (23-55) and were only 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. More importantly, poor free throw shooting and turnovers doomed ETSU, as the Lady Bucs shot 62.1 percent (18-29) at the charity stripe. In addition, ETSU coughed the ball up 16 times - resulting in 17 points for the Sun Devils.
Joining Evans in double figures was Wiles and Davis. Wiles finished with 14 points, five rebounds and two steals; while Davis chipped in with 11 points (6-of-6 at the free throw line) and two assists.
Arizona State's Danielle Orsillo was one of four players to score in double figures - ending with 18 points.
The Lady Bucs wrap up their four-game road swing on Sunday against host Hawai'i in the final game of the Rainbow Wahine Classic. Tip is set for 5 p.m. (HT)/10 p.m. (ET) inside the Stan Sherriff Center.
For more information of Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.