Lady Buccaneers end seven-game drought

By Ivan Sanders

The ETSU Lady Bucs can relate to how the U.S. Olympic bobsled team feels when it comes out of the last turn and passes the finish line. They both realize it's time to throw on the brakes to stop the skid.
   The Lady Bucs did just that on Saturday at the Mini-Dome as they upended a talented Wofford Lady Terrier team 78-67 to end a seven-game losing streak.
   ETSU had to stave off a second-half rally that pulled the Terriers within a single point, but the Lady Bucs were able to regain their composure and pull off the victory.
   "We knew that Wofford would make a run at us in the second half," stated Lady Buc head coach Karen Kemp. "They are a really good team, and we knew from our previous contest with them what they can do."
   The first nine minutes of the contest was a stalemate as neither team could establish any type of rhythm in the game. The Lady Bucs held a 14-13 lead with 10:49 showing in the half.
   The Bucs then went on an 8-0 run over the next 2:57 to increase their margin to 22-13 with 7:52 left before intermission. Samantha Copeland began the run on a long-range trey followed by a bucket from Candace Gibson.
   The Lady Bucs gained their largest advantage of the first half with 1:25 left at 39-25, and were able to go to the break leading 39-27.
   Sullivan North grad Misty Copas was the difference for the Lady Bucs in the half, connecting on five of five field goals for 10 points.
   "Misty is the type of player who does her work in a quiet way," commented Kemp of her post player. "She did a good job for us today both offensively and defensively on the boards."
   Stated Copas after the contest: "My teammates did a good job of getting the ball into me. I've been in a little slump, so I knew I needed to pick it up, and fortunately we came back with a big win."
   Wofford was led by their star Jenny Nett, who tallied 11 points to lead both teams in the first 20:00 of action. Stephanie Adelaine contributed with four points for the Terriers' cause.
   The second half saw the Terriers come out with some bite in their play. After ETSU extended its lead back to 14 at 50-36 with 15:40 remaining in the contest, Wofford effectively shut down the Lady Bucs over the next 4:25, and went on a 10-0 run of its own.
   With 11:15 to go, the Terriers were within seven points at 53-46. Cathey Franks came out on fire for the Lady Terriers in the second stanza, nailing five of five from the field and three of three from the charity stripe for 13 points.
   The Lady Terriers continued to chop away at the Buc lead until they found themselves down by only one, 61-60, with 5:10 remaining.
   The Lady Bucs were then able to draw the fifth personal from Nett with 4:59 remaining, which seemed to breathe new life into the Lady Bucs.
   Behind Copas and point guard Ashley Reed, the Bucs reeled off a 13-3 run over 3:36 to put the game out of reach. Reed scored seven of the 13 points the Bucs recorded in the run.
   When the final gun sounded, the Lady Bucs had secured a 78-67 victory, and more importantly an end to their losing streak.
   "Ashley Reed can see the floor very well from her point guard position plus hit the basket," stated Kemp. "This is very commendable considering she is only a freshman."
   Copas finished with a game-high 19 points, while teammates Reed and Lauren Trantham contributed 14 and 12, respectively.
   Nett, even though fouling out, led the visiting Lady Terriers with 16 points on the day. Franks finished with 15 points, while Ricaye Harris netted 10.
   There was no one any happier than Kemp when the skid came to an end.
   Kemp said: "We hung in there and got a big win. Hopefully this will help our confidence get back up and we'll see a different outcome when we play these teams again."
   The Lady Bucs improve to 8-11 overall and 3-7 in the Southern Conference. The loss drops the Lady Terriers from Wofford to 11-8 overall and 5-5 in the conference.
   ETSU has won both meetings this year between the schools, winning in OT 76-74 in Spartanburg.
   The Lady Bucs will next travel to Chattanooga for a rematch with the Lady Mocs, who were upset by the Lady Bucs earlier in the season, on Monday night at 7.