NASHVILLE (Feb. 16, 2012) – On a night when things weren’t exactly clicking offensively, the Lady Bucs stepped up on the defensive end of the floor to pull out a 59-39 victory over Lipscomb on Thursday inside Allen Arena.
The Lady Bucs – who ended their three-game losing skid with the 20-point win – held the Lady Bison to the lowest point total since ETSU allowed North Florida to only score 39 points back on Jan. 25, 2008. Meanwhile, ETSU’s stifling defense limited Lipscomb to a 22.8 percent shooting clip (13-57) as well as forcing 26 turnovers, a season-high 16 steals, and eight block shots.
Along with the strong defensive performance, the Blue and Gold received a total team effort as 10 different players reached the scoring column, while 10 Lady Bucs also posted double figures in minutes played.
Leading the way for ETSU was senior Gwen Washington’s (Manassas, Va.) 10-point, 8-rebound effort off the bench. Freshman Cara Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) added seven points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals in 24 minutes.
With the win, the Lady Bucs snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 7-19, 6-9 in A-Sun play, while Lipscomb dropped to 5-21, 3-12.
Neither team was able to get anything going offensively in the first 20 minutes as they combined to shoot 24 percent from the field (17-for-71), but the Lady Bucs managed to take a 25-17 lead into the half.
The opening 14 minutes, 4 seconds saw one tie and three lead changes, but with the game even at 14, the Lady Bucs stepped up their play to grab momentum before the break. A Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) jumper with 4:17 remaining snapped a 2-minute, 39-second scoring drought between both teams and fueled an 11-3 run to close the half, giving the Blue and Gold the eight-point cushion.
Lipscomb opened up to a quick 5-0 start in the opening minutes of the contest, but the Lady Bison went cold as ETSU held the host scoreless for the next 5 minutes, 23 seconds - giving the Lady Bucs the chance to grab a one-point advantage. From there, neither team broke away until the Lady Bucs woke up down the stretch to make some noise.
Both teams shot below 30 percent in the first half, as ETSU went 11-of-42 (26.2 percent) from the field and made one of its 11 three-point field goal attempts. Meanwhile, Lipscomb was 6-for-29 (20.7 percent) from the floor and made two of its 11 three attempts. The Lady Bucs did a strong job on the glass en route to out-rebounding the Lady Bison by five, 31-25, while turning 15 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points. In addition, the ETSU bench produced 19 of the 25 points as Washington added eight points and six rebounds in 12 first-half minutes.
The Lady Bucs exploded out of the gates to begin the second half as the Blue and Gold made six of their first 11 shots in the opening 5 minutes, 33 seconds to extend their lead to 16, 37-21.
From there, Lipscomb used a 5-0 run to pull within 11, but that’s as close as the Lady Bison would get.
With ETSU holding onto a 37-26 lead with 13:11 remaining, the Blue and Gold put the game away with an impressive 18-4 spurt to take their largest lead of the night when Washington found Brianna Bogard (Georgetown, Texas) open for a fast-break lay-up to make it a 25-point contest, 55-30, with 5:14 showing on the clock.
Coach Kemp was able to rest her starters and go deep into the bench down the stretch as the Lady Bucs solidified the 20-point conference win.
Despite only shooting 31.3 percent (26-83) for the game, the Lady Bucs scored 21 points off the 26 forced turnovers, while 28 of ETSU’s season-high 60 rebounds came on the offensive end, resulting into 19 second-chance points. Overall, the Lady Buccaneer bench accounted for 36 of the 59 total points.
Lipscomb had one player score in double figures as Anna Bowers – who is averaging 13.0 points per game – was held to 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
The Lady Bucs wrap up their stint in the Music City on Saturday evening when ETSU faces Belmont inside the Curb Event Center. Tip is slated for 6 p.m. (Eastern).
For more information on Lady Buccaneer hoops, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.