Junior point guard Tara Davis (
ETSU rattled off its fourth straight win and improved to 8-7, 6-1 in A-Sun play, placing the Lady Bucs a half-game behind the Eagles in the conference standings. FGCU suffered its first lost since Dec. 13, 2009 at
"FGCU is a very aggressive team and they shoot the ball well," commented head coach Karen Kemp, whose Lady Bucs stayed a perfect 5-0 at home after the five-point win over the Eagles. "We knew they shoot a lot of threes, so our perimeter defense had to be really effective today. We had some breakdowns, but I felt like the last three minutes we laced the shoestrings up even tighter and it was gut check time. Fortunately, in the end, we defended pretty well."
The first half was a game of runs, as
From there, the next 4 minutes, 30 seconds saw four ties and four lead changes, but with the game knotted at 29, ETSU received another bust and grabbed a seven-point advantage, 36-29, when Gordon sank a jumper with 4:28 left before half. Once again,
Both teams shot the lights out in the opening 20 minutes. The Lady Bucs shot 54.3 percent (19-35) and 54.5 percent from beyond the arc (6-11); while the Eagles were 14-of-28 from the field (50 percent) and 10-for-18 from 3-point land (55.6 percent). ETSU did an excellent job capitalizing on nine Eagle turnovers, as the Lady Bucs turned in 21 points off those miscues. The Eagles assisted on 10 of their 14 field goal makes, with ETSU having eight.
Neither team was able to grab any momentum in the first 5 minutes, 39 seconds of the second half, but with ETSU leading 57-52, the Lady Bucs got a spark and pushed their lead to 12, 66-54, when sophomore Gwen Washington (
However, the spark didn't last long and the Eagles continued to chip away.
In just a two-minute span, FGCU was able to cut the deficit to four, 66-62, following Chelsea Lyles' 3-pointer with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Eagles would answer and tied the game at 74, following Adrianne McNally's lay-up with six minutes showing on the clock. Fortunately, for the Lady Bucs, Evans was fouled on the next trip down and the
From there, FGCU never led or tied the game, but the Eagles had a chance to even the contest with less than a minute to play. With the Lady Bucs leading 86-83, Evans missed an off-balance jumper with 32 ticks remaining - but following a FGCU 30-second timeout - McNally missed a lay-up and
For the game, ETSU shot 47 percent from the floor (31-66) and finished 8-of-20 from beyond the arc (40 percent). Meanwhile, the Eagles were 29-of-59 from the field (49.2 percent) and 15-for-31 from 3-point range. After both teams didn't make a trip to the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes, the clubs combined for 38 total attempts in the final half. ETSU finished 18-of-23, while FGCU went 10-for-15. The Lady Buccaneer defense forced the Eagles into 16 turnovers and ETSU converted those miscues into 34 points.
Like the Lady Bucs, the Eagles had four in double figures with Lyles pacing FGCU at 25 points.
ETSU will now hit the road again as the Lady Bucs make their second trip to the
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.