Lady Bucs face tough non-conference foe in Liberty Tuesday night
Belcher
Belcher

Monday, January 07, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 7, 2008) - The ETSU women's basketball team has been great so far in '08, but the Lady Buccaneers will face a difficult test Tuesday night when Big South foe Liberty visits Johnson City. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside Memorial Center.

 

ETSU (5-7) has made some noise since the New Year, picking up wins over SEC challenger Alabama and a 41-point rout over USC Upstate in the Atlantic Sun opener. Sophomore Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) has been a big impact in the recent success, as she has secured a spot in the starting lineup over the last two games. In those contests, Belcher is averaging 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals in 19.5 minutes of work. Senior Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) enters Tuesdays game needing to score 12 points to reach the 1,000-point club and one more three-pointer to set the all-time Lady Buccaneer mark with 177 made for her career. As a team, the Lady Bucs are averaging 84.5 points per game and outscoring their opponent by a margin of plus-26 in those two games.

 

Liberty enters Tuesday's match-up leading the Big South in 11 different statistical categories including scoring offense (70.9), scoring margin (+14.5), free throw shooting (.761), field goal percentage (.461), field goal percentage defense (.336), three-point field goal pct. defense (.241), defensive rebounding (34.1), rebounding margin (+7.4), assists (15.0), assist/turnover ratio (0.84) and defensive rebounds (28.8). The Lady Flames have won 12 of their first 14 games this season and are led by two of the three Frazee sisters in Megan and Moriah. Megan leads the squad in scoring (17.1) and rebounding (8.6); while sister Moriah averages 12.6 points per game. Liberty has won the Big South Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament 10 times in the last 11 seasons.

 

Fans unable to attend the game can watch via the live video streaming accessed at ASun.TV or by clicking the link located above. 

 

Below is a breakdown of the match-up:

Lady Bucs' Last Time Out

The East Tennessee State women's basketball team put the pedal to the metal early by cruising out to a 34-9 start and never looked back as the Lady Bucs routed USC Upstate in the Atlantic Sun opener, 96-55, Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Center.

 

With the victory, the Lady Bucs improve to 5-7, 1-0 in the A-Sun, while Upstate falls to 4-8, 0-1. ETSU has now won its last five conference openers and eight of its last nine.

 

The Lady Bucs have been great so far in '08 as six players reached double figures in the scoring column, which marked ETSU's largest win since defeating Western Carolina by the same margin back on Feb. 22, 1995. Senior Kelly Turman (Atlanta, Ga.), who was averaging 15.3 points per game at home entering Saturday's match-up, led all scorers with her 14-point performance.

 

About Liberty

Nine upperclassmen return from a Liberty team which went 19-12 last year, to record its 11th consecutive winning season. Highlighting the returnees is 6-3 junior guard/forward Megan Frazee, who was voted the Big South Conference Preseason Player of the Year, after averaging 17.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg in 2006-07. The Lady Flames are coached by Carey Green, who entered the season with a .743 winning percentage in eight seasons at Liberty ranks 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches. Liberty has won the Big South Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament 10 times in the last 11 seasons.

 

The Lady Flames have won 12 of their first 14 games this season, with losses coming against Virginia Tech and 4th-ranked North Carolina (both on the road). Liberty is led by two of the three Frazee sisters (Megan and Moriah) in scoring. Megan leads the team with a 17.1 clip, while Moriah averages 12.6 per contest. Megan also leads the team in rebounding (8.6) and free throw shooting (89.7 percent).

 

Despite shooting only 15 percent (3-20) in the second half, Liberty was able to hang on for a 45-38 victory over Richmond Saturday evening. Megan Frazee almost scored half of the Lady Flames' points, as she finished with 21 and grabbed eight rebounds.

 

Liberty leads the Big South in 11 different statistical categories, including scoring offense (70.9), scoring margin (+14.5), free throw shooting (.761), field goal percentage (.461), field goal percentage defense (.336), three-point field goal pct. defense (.241), defensive rebounding (34.1), rebounding margin (+7.4), assists (15.0), assist/turnover ratio (0.84) and defensive rebounds (28.8).

 

The Series

This marks the 11 meeting between these two schools, with ETSU holding a 7-3 advantage. Liberty took the last meeting, 74-59, back on Dec. 9, 1999 in Lynchburg. However, the Lady Bucs have won four of the five match-ups in Johnson City; including an 80-69 victory on Jan. 6, 1999.

 

Home Sweet Home

The Lady Bucs have enjoyed playing in Johnson City. Since the start of the 2005-06 season, ETSU has won 23 of its 29 (.793) games played in Johnson City. Also, the Lady Bucs have won 17 of their last 20 home conference games, including a current eight-game winning streak against A-Sun schools. The last time ETSU lost a conference home game was over a year ago when Belmont defeated the Lady Bucs, 78-69, on Jan. 6, 2007. 

 

More About Saturday's Win...

The Lady Bucs defeated USC Upstate by 41 points (96-55), marking their largest win since knocking off Western Carolina by the same margin back on Feb. 22, 1995 ... the 96 points scored were the most put up since reaching the 95-point plateau last season at Kennesaw State ... six ETSU players scored in double figures, marking most since five Lady Buc players accomplished the task on Feb. 8, 2007 vs. Gardner-Webb ... TaRonda Wiles (10) and Latisha Belcher (12) became the first two ETSU players to post double figures in rebounding since her teammates Siarre Evans and Michele DeVault recorded 12 against App. St. last year.

 

Streaking

ETSU has yet to lose a game this 08 season, opening the New Year 2-0. The Lady Bucs are searching for their first three-game win streak since tallying six straight from 2/17-3/9/08.

 

A Look Ahead

The Lady Bucs return to conference action when they host Gardner-Webb Saturday afternoon. Tip is slated for 1:30 p.m.

 

Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information regarding the Lady Buccaneer basketball and all other athletic news.

 

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