Women's hoops defeat Spartans, capture 75-63 SoCon victory
<b>B.J. Banjo posted 23 points in the Bucs victory over UNCG on Thursday</b>
B.J. Banjo posted 23 points in the Bucs victory over UNCG on Thursday

Thursday, January 20, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (Jan 20, 2005) - With five Lady Bucs scoring in double figures and three Bucs grabbing nine rebounds each, ETSU improved to 7-9, 5-4 SoCon with a dominating win over the UNC Greensboro Spartans tonight 75-63 from Brooks Gymnasium.  Led by point guard B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.), who posted 23 points adding one assist and three steals for the Bucs, freshman Kelly Turman (Atlanta, Ga.) added a career-best 12 points shooting 8-9 from the charity stripe while forward Michelle DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) tied a career-high hitting four three point baskets in the win.  The Spartans were led by Jasmine Byrd with 24 points and two assists, while freshman Kristine Boone added seven steals.  With the loss, UNCG falls to 9-8, 6-4 in SoCon play.

 

The Lady Bucs began the game on a 7-0 run through the first two minutes of play before the UNCG offense gained any ground.  In the run, Banjo added five points while Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.) added the final lay-up giving ETSU the early advantage.  The Spartans regrouped to near the score at 10-7 off of a made free throw by Jasmine Dixon and took the eventual 18-17 lead at the seven minute mark for their first lead of the night.  The two teams matching point for point, UNCG managed to improve its lead to 28-22 before two Turman free throws gave the Bucs two crucial points on the board.  Heading into the halftime intermission, the Spartans managed the slight 35-32 lead.

 

For the half, ETSU tallied just eight points in the paint compared to the 18 of the Spartans, while the Bucs posted the biggest lead of the half at eight points with 10 minutes remaining on the first-half clock.  Banjo led all scorers with 10 at the half, while Candace Gibson (Warner Robbins, Ga.) added four points, six rebounds and two blocks through the first 20 minutes of play.

 

Knowing how important this game was in conference play, ETSU took the floor in the second half on fire.  Jumping out to a 52-39 lead at the 13 minute mark, the Bucs never allowed the Spartans to gain momentum in the second half as the visitors managed just five made shots from the floor in the final period.  A solid free throw shooting effort from the Bucs in the second half, as well as key shots from beyond the arc, propelled ETSU to the victory and improved their conference mark to 5-4 for the year. 

 

"Tonight was the best game I've seen our team play all year.  Kelly (Turman) and Michelle (DeVault) were key in our victory tonight with the performances they gave us," Lady Bucs head coach Karen Kemp said.  "B.J. (Banjo) played great for us at the point, especially against a very tough defensive team.  Overall I'm very proud of our effort, we need to continue this momentum in the week ahead."

 

Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bucs, while Gibson finished with 10 points and nine boards including five offensive rebounds.  DeVault and Turman finished with 12 each, while Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) posted a game-high three steals for the Bucs.  ETSU posted the advantage with 49 rebounds, compared to just 26 by the Spartans, while shooting was very close with the Bucs averaging 41 percent compared to the 37 percent of UNCG.

 

ETSU will return to action this Saturday when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C. to face the Wofford Terriers continuing 2004-05 Southern Conference action.  Visit ETSUBucs.com for scores and updates. 

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