NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 3, 2007) - The ETSU women's basketball team lost back-to-back road conference games for the first time this season as Lipscomb surprised the Lady Bucs, 57-52, inside Allen Arena Saturday evening. The loss drops the Lady Bucs to 12-9, 8-3 in the A-Sun, while the Lady Bisons improve to 7-14, 5-6 A-Sun.
The double threat of Penny Jones and Catie Woods combined for 44 of Lipscomb's 57 points as they both set career highs with 22-point efforts apiece. Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville) and Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) each scored a team-high 11 points for ETSU. It marked the first time in the young series the Lady Bucs lost to the Lady Bisons (3-1 all-time).
After controlling the lead for most of the second half, the Lady Bucs lost their momentum and could never regain the lead as the Lady Bisons hit two free throws at the 3:06 mark, giving the home team their first lead since 3:45 remaining in the first half. With ETSU leading, 47-42, at the 7:47 mark, Lipscomb's defense stepped up and the Lady Bucs offense fell apart as they did not make a field goal for seven minutes and forty-three seconds, giving the home team the opportunity to pull off the upset. Jones was automatic down the stretch for Lipscomb as she scored 10 of the final 12 points for Lipscomb, and hit eight of her 10 free throws in the final three minutes and six seconds. The center finished a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. The Lady Bucs had one final chance as they were trailing by two, 52-50, but DeVault missed an open three from the corner with twenty-nine seconds left, and Kelly Turman's (Atlanta) jumper could not find the basket, finally leading to a Lipscomb rebound and two more free throws to ice the game.
The Lady Bucs shot below 30 percent (26.2 percent) from the field for the first time since Nov. 24, 2006 when they finished 28.8 percent against Georgetown, while Lipscomb ended 19-of-52 (36.5 percent) for the contest. Despite the loss, the Lady Bucs shot a season-high 92.9 percent (13-14) from the free throw line, making up for their lost efforts a few nights ago against Belmont when they shot 50 percent. Both teams combined to finish 27-for-31 from the charity stripe.
In the first half, both teams got off to rough starts as they combined for only 11 points and 14 turnovers with a little over eight minutes gone by. Lipscomb was the first team to finally find some rhythm as they went on an 8-2 run, and took a 13-8 lead with 9:38 on the clock. Wilhoit caught fire as she connected on consecutive threes for the Lady Bucs, cutting the Lipscomb lead to one, 15-14. On the next possession, the Lady Bisons extended their lead to four, 18-14, when Dana Carrigan provided a three-point play. Both teams would trade buckets for the next minute and a half, but ETSU would eventually tie the game at 20, when Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) drained a jumper with 5:08 left in the half. Lipscomb would answer right back with a quick 5-0 run, but the Lady Bucs finally turned things up on defense, holding the Lady Bisons scoreless for the final 4:01, and took a 29-25 lead into the locker room.
Norman led the Lady Bucs with eight first half points, while Catie Woods put in 11 for Lipscomb. ETSU turned things around from the free throw line as they hit all eight attempts, compared to going 4-of-12 in the first half against Belmont on Thursday night. Neither team shot the ball well in the first half as the Lady Bucs finished 30 percent (9-30) from the field, compared to 35.7 percent (10-28) from Lipscomb.
After a three-game road swing, the Lady Bucs return home to Memorial Center as they play host to Gardner-Webb on Thursday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m.