Lady Bucs continue A-Sun slate, take on Gardner-Webb Saturday

Friday, January 20, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 20, 2006) - After picking up another Atlantic Sun victory over Campbell last night, the Lady Bucs are set to host Gardner-Webb, Saturday at 2 p.m., in Brooks Gym.  ETSU enters the contest at 11-4, 7-1 in the A-Sun, while Gardner-Webb is currently 6-9 overall, 5-3 in league action.

About the Game ...

The league-leading Lady Bucs will take on the Runnin' Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb, which is currently tied with Campbell for fifth-place in the A-Sun.  ETSU sits atop the standings at 7-1, just ahead of Belmont at 6-2, while both Mercer and FAU stand at 5-2 in conference play.  The game features two of the A-Sun's top rebounders in Shameka Smith and Candace Gibson, who are averaging 9.9, and 8.6 rpg, respectively, and are ranked third and fourth in the league. 


Scouting the Bulldogs  ...

The Runnin' Bulldogs arrive in Johnson City with a 6-9 overall record, and a 5-3 mark in A-Sun play.  Gardner-Webb has picked up conference wins over Stetson, Mercer, Jacksonville, North Florida, and Kennesaw State, while dropping decisions to Campbell, Belmont, and Lipscomb.  All but one of GWU's wins have come against conference opponents, as the Bulldogs earned their only non-league victory over South Carolina State.  Shameka Smith is leading the Bulldog offense, averaging 12.0 points a game, to go along with 9.9 boards a night, the third-best tally in the league.  Smith is posting 10.3 rebounds a game in A-Sun play, which is the second-highest output in the conference.  Sequenta Blackman is next in the scoring stats at 9.6 ppg.


The Series ...

Tonight's meeting will be the first in series history.


Last time out ...

Sophomore Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.) led a stellar ETSU defensive effort on Thursday, tying a school record with nine steals, as the Lady Bucs topped Campbell, 73-63, in Brooks Gym. The conference-leading Lady Bucs improve to 11-4 overall, 7-1 in the Atlantic Sun, while Campbell falls to 6-10, 5-3 in league play. The Lady Bucs took advantage of 33 Campbell turnovers, snatching 21 steals on the night, just two steals away from the school record. Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) managed a season-best four takeaways, while Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) added three. Akers' record performance ties former Lady Buc Kiya Verdell, who nabbed nine steals against Appalachian State in 2003.  ETSU also got it going on offense with four players in double figures, led by senior B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) with a game-high 21. Akers matched a career-high with 16, followed by DeVault with 13, and Kelly Turman (Atlanta, Ga.) with 12. Costly turnovers put a damper on an otherwise hot shooting night for the Camels, who shot 50.9 from the field. Marlena Murphy led a balanced Campbell attack with 14 points, to go along with a game-high nine boards. Tomika Tomlinson, Letitia Dickson, and Adrienne Rieley also scored in double figures with Tomlinson netting 13, and Dickson and Rieley posting 12 apiece. All 13 of Tomlinson's points came in the second half. The Lady Camels shot out to an early five-point lead, when a Rieley bucket gave Campbell the 12-7 advantage with 13:13 to go in the first. A pair of baskets from Banjo and another by Turman would give the Lady Bucs to 13-12 lead two minutes later. ETSU wouldn't look back, holding the advantage for the rest of the contest.


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