BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Feb. 18, 2010) - Junior point guard Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) led the Lady Bucs with a game-high 22 points and senior Preseason Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) tallied 14 points and 15 rebounds, as ETSU kept its unblemished record over Campbell intact with its 77-67 victory on Thursday night inside Gore Arena.
To go with Davis' 22 points, the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native set a new career-high with her 13-of-16 effort at the free throw line, while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Meanwhile, fellow junior Tarita Gordon (Wichita, Kan.) scored 14 of her 17 points in the first half, and senior TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists.
With the win, ETSU improved to 17-8, 15-2 in Atlantic Sun play - putting the Lady Bucs a half-game back of Florida Gulf Coast in the conference standings. Campbell, who entered the night with a grasp of the number two seed in next month's conference tournament, dropped to 14-12, 9-8.
"We knew Campbell was going to come out ready to play since this was its Pack the House and Pink Zone game," commented head coach Karen Kemp, whose Lady Bucs improved to 10-0 all-time against the Lady Camels. "Campbell did just that, but we weathered the storm and found momentum right before halftime. In the second half, we did a good job attacking and getting to the free throw line, which in my mind turned out to be the difference maker. It's always nice to pick up a win on the road, but we still aren't playing up to our potential and need to continue working on a few things - especially our rebounding."
The opening 7 minutes, 56 seconds of the first half were tightly contested as the game saw four ties and three lead changes. However, with Campbell leading 16-15, ETSU used an 8-3 run to establish a little cushion as the Lady Bucs led, 24-18, forcing Campbell to burn a 30-second time out with 10:21 remaining before the break.
From there, ETSU was able to gain a seven-point advantage at, 27-20, but a 5 minute, 13 second Lady Buccaneer field goal drought gave the Lady Camels some momentum. Campbell cut the deficit to two on two possessions; however, with the Lady Bucs leading 31-29, ETSU closed out the half on a 7-0 run and the Blue and Gold went into the locker room ahead, 38-29.
Gordon paced the Lady Bucs with 14 first-half points, as ETSU shot 45.5 percent from the field (15-33). Campbell finished the first 20 minutes shooting 30 percent from the floor (12-40), and the Lady Camels were out-rebounded by five - 26 to 21.
ETSU was able to carry its energy over to the early stages of the second half, as the Lady Bucs pushed their lead to 12, 43-31, after Gwen Washington (Manassas, Va.) sank a pair of free throws at the 17:55 mark.
However, Campbell fought back and pulled to within two, 50-48, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Wiles gave the Lady Bucs some breathing room as ETSU gained a 56-48 advantage with less than thirteen minutes to play.
The Lady Bucs did an excellent job driving to the rim and drawing contact, as ETSU found itself in the bonus with 11 minutes, 54 seconds remaining. With that in store, the Lady Bucs led 63-54 when Davis put in a pair of free throws with 8 minutes, 56 seconds showing on the clock
Unfortunately, ETSU began hacking and sending the Lady Camels to the line, as Campbell went to the charity stripe on the next three possessions - cutting its deficit to two - 63-61. Fortunately, ETSU silenced any Campbell comeback by closing out the final seven and a half minutes on a 14-6 run to walk away with the 10-point conference victory.
For the game, the Lady Bucs shot 43.4 percent (23-53), but ETSU won the battle at the free throw line. The Lady Bucs went 25-of-34 from the line (73.5 percent), compared to Campbell's 12-for-14 clip (85.7 percent). ETSU out-rebounded the Lady Camels 47-44. Campbell shot 30.8 percent from the field and was 7-of-21 from 3-point range (33.3 percent).
Campbell was led by Jazmine Cooper's 14-point, 12-rebound effort.
The Lady Bucs return to action on Monday, Feb. 22 when ETSU closes out its home schedule with a visit from USC Upstate. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center, and can also be seen live on CSS.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.