Old SoCon foes set to meet in the first round of WNIT Thursday night

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (March 14, 2007) - It has been 12 years since the ETSU women's basketball team made its lone postseason appearance, but the Lady Bucs drought will come to an end Thursday night when they face old Southern Conference rival Western Carolina in the first round of the WNIT. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. inside The Ramsey Center.


The Lady Bucs earned the automatic bid to the postseason WNIT by advancing further than Jacksonville in the A-Sun Tournament last weekend. Both teams finished tied for second in the regular season, but ETSU came out ahead by defeating the Dolphins in the semifinals, which placed them in the championship game against top-seeded Belmont. Ironically, the last time the Lady Bucs were in the postseason was when DeShawne Blocker was a standout post player, and head coach Karen Kemp was in her first year at the helm. Kemp is now in her 13th season with ETSU, while Blocker is a first-year assistant coach for the Lady Bucs. Despite losing in the A-Sun Championship, the Lady Bucs have still won five of their last seven games and 13 of 17.


Like ETSU, the Lady Catamounts have had recent success on the court as they have won 15 of their last 17 contests and 18 of its last 22 games. Western Carolina also earned the automatic bid to the tournament by winning the regular season SoCon title; however, they fell in the conference championship to the No. 2 seed Chattanooga Lady Mocs, 84-66. The Lady Catamounts have four players who reach double figures in scoring, with Lauren Powell leading the way with 12.1ppg.


Despite losing the last meeting, 65-60 in Cullowhee, the Lady Bucs still lead the all-time series 42-20, and have won five of the last seven games in the rivalry. Five current Lady Buc players have experience playing inside The Ramsey Center as Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.), Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.), Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio), Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.) and Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.) have all played against the Lady Catamounts in the last meeting back in 2005, while Wilhoit and Moring also have played against Western during their freshmen year as well.


Fans not able to attend the game Thursday night will be able to listen to all the action live by visiting www.ETSUBucs.com or by clicking on the icon above. 


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