Mocs shake Lady Bucs

By Travis Brown
STAR Staff

   The ETSU Lady Buccaneers started off the 2002-03 conference campaign on the wrong foot Thursday night, with a disappointing 12-point loss to Chattanooga.
   Despite the final score, the game was close for most of the contest until the final few minutes of the second half. The final five minutes saw UTC poor on the pressure and put the game out of reach for a 77-65 win.
   The story of the game spent the first minutes of the contest riding the pine. Both teams received 30 points or more from their reserves. B.J. Banjo (13 points) for the Bucs and Katie Galloway (13) and Shamya Sermons (11) for the Lady Mocs reached double figures coming off of the bench.
   Perimeter shooting helped the Lady Mocs take an early lead, as the youthful point guards for ETSU turned the ball over with lackluster passing. Although outplayed for the majority of the first half, the Lady Bucs hung close with the strong play from Banjo.
   Banjo would later comment on her play in the first half.
   "It was a big game for us, and I think everyone was fired up," Banjo said.
   Although not contributing offensively, Lauren Trantham played solid defense most of the first half and forced the Mocs to score from outside.
   Trailing by four at halftime, the Lady Bucs were poised to make a second-half run. According to head coach Karen Kemp, the intangibles were in place but they could not find the right answers in the first half.
   "If we come out with the same intensity every night, we might surprise some people" Kemp said. "We have to do a better job taking care of the ball."
   The second half gave Kemp an opportunity to make adjustments and in the early stages of the second half it appeared successful.
   "Defensively we needed to make them put the ball on the floor," Kemp said. "We did that, but we gave up to many offensive rebounds."
   The adjustments were successful during the opening stages of the second half. With 14:58 remaining in the game, the Lady Bucs tied the contest on a two-point basket by Tope' Ogunniyi. From that point on it was all downhill for the Lady Bucs.
   With 4:33 remaining in the contest the Lady Mocs stretched the lead out to 13 with a basket by Galloway. Galloway's strong contribution from the foul line helped seal the victory for the Lady Mocs.
   "Last year I struggled from the foul line, I worked on it all summer and I've done well this year," Galloway said. "We were fortunate in the second half to play the game at our pace, ETSU has a good ball team."
   Trailing by double figures the Bucs could not mount a comeback effort and eventually fell by a 77-65 score.
   Although the outcome was less than ideal, Kemp remained upbeat about the way her team played.
   "We worked extremely hard tonight," Kemp said. "They've beat some good teams and we have a lot to build on."