Lady Bucs edge by Charleston

By Dallas Cook


   JOHNSON CITY -- After a heartbreaking loss to Appalachian State on Monday, the East Tennessee State Lady Buccaneers decided to end their three game losing streak Saturday against the College of Charleston Lady Cougars.
   It wasn't an easy task but the Buccaneers (9-14, 4-10) kept the game close throughout and then taking the lead late to secure their fourth Southern Conference win of the season by the final of 82-79.
   "The last few games we've been up on teams but then they would come back on us and we just choked," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp. "That's one thing we've talked about the past week is that we just have to play our game and good things will happen."
   The game started off in favor of the Cougars (12-10, 6-8) as they jumped out to a 9-5 lead but that was short lived as both teams exchanged the lead nine times in the first half alone.
   The biggest surprise in the half was the play of senior Leslie Burleson. Not only did she lead the team in three pointers on the day, she also drained all three within a four minute span to give her team a 38-32 lead at halftime.
   In the second half the Buccaneers had their work cut out for them as the College of Charleston came out and brought the game to within two points at 44-42 due to the shooting of junior Wilma Simpson.
   On the day Simpson netted 19 points including six of those coming in the Cougars early run of the half.
   College of Charleston finally took the lead with 10:52 left in the game at 56-55 on two free throws by Brittney Scarberry.
   It was another see-saw battle for the two teams all the way up to the last 15 seconds of the game.
   The Buccaneers trailed 79-78 with 50 seconds left to go but a Samantha Copeland stole the ball and took it in for the score to give her team an 80-79 lead.
   "We were down but we didn't panic," said Kemp. "Samantha really stepped up for us in the second half."
   College of Charleston had one last shot as they brought the ball down the court and put it in the hands of Becky Wollenburg. When it looked like she was going to have a wide open shot at a three pointer, Copeland came out of no where to block the shot and giving the Buccaneers the victory.
   For ETSU Copeland led all score with 13 points including six of those coming from three point land. Misty Copas (12 pts, 3 reb), Candace Gibson (11 pts, 5 reb) and Jackson (12 pts, 3 reb) all contributed a stellar effort to help lead the Buccaneers.
   "She (Gibson) came out ready to play from the beginning," Kemp said. "She gave us a spark in on the post on the defensive end."
   Simpson (19 pts, 8 reb), Wollenburg (14 pts, 4 reb), Scarberry (11 pts, 4 reb) and Rachel King (10 pts, 7 reb) were top scorers for the Cougars.
   ETSU will be in action again on Monday as they host conference rival Western Carolina with gametime set for 7 p.m.