Unable to continue momentum from win at Lipscomb
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (Jan. 7, 2013) – In the first-ever meeting between the two teams, the Lady Bucs could not get it going from three-point range or take advantage of opportunities from the free-throw line and fell,68-55, to Atlantic Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky on Monday evening inside the Bank of Kentucky Center.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 3-7 overall and 1-2 in Atlantic Sun play, while Northern Kentucky improves to 5-8 overall and 2-2 in league action.
“I am very disappointed in the majority of my team,” head coach Karen Kemp said. "I don’t think we came out and played with heart in three areas that we always talk about: effort, defense and rebounding. We allowed them to get many open looks and did not do a good job in covering up the three-point line. Also, we did not block out well enough as they got too many offensive boards and too many second chance opportunities. On the offensive side for us, I did not feel like we were moving the ball and cutting well enough. We were standing around, unlike what we did in the second half against Lipscomb. To bounce back we need to get to work once we get back to Johnson City. We have the top two teams in the league coming in for our conference home openers. We have got to focus on our defense. We are going to score some points but if teams are going to hit contested shots, that is one thing, but when they are wide-open, that is unacceptable.”
With ETSU looking to continue the momentum from their first win in over a month, Saturday at Lipscomb, the two squads traded baskets throughout the first 10 minutes of the first half. Northern Kentucky eventually went on a run and extended the lead to 12 points with 3:51 remaining in the period. ETSU responded with a run of their own, scoring seven unanswered points with a little over two minutes remaining to cut the deficit to five. The Norse answered again though and enhanced the lead to eight, 46-38, at intermission.
Out of the gate in the second half, Northern Kentucky added to their eight point lead with an 11-4 run over the first seven minutes of the period. Searching for ways to cut into the deficit, the answer was not from three-point land where the Lady Bucs were held without a make in six tries in the second half and also were only one of seven from the charity stripe in the half. This cold shooting, coupled with not coming away with points after NKU’s eight second half turnovers, resulted in too much for ETSU to overcome, a 68-55 decision in favor of the Norse.
NKU got a game-high 20 points from Kayla Thacker, while Melody Doss posted a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, ETSU newcomer Serena Clark (Tucker, Ga.) produced her second straight double-double, this time with a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds, as well as a team season-high seven steals. Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) and Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) also turned in strong, back-to-back performances with 10 points and nine points, respectively.
The Norse shot a respectable 40 percent from the field and only 37 percent from behind the arc, but knocked down 74 percent from the foul line (14-of-19). NKU also held advantages in points off turnovers (19-12), second chance points (13-4) and bench points (17-10). Northern Kentucky also had an advantage on the boards, 42-38.
Meanwhile, ETSU matched NKU with 40 percent from the field, but shot a putrid 17 percent (2-of-12) from three and an even worse, season-low 11 percent from the free-throw line (1-of-9). The Lady Bucs did have the edge in points in the paint (30-22), blocks (6-2) and steals (12-9).
The Lady Bucs will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 12, when they welcome Florida Gulf Coast in ETSU’s first home Atlantic Sun game of the season. Click here for tickets.
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