ETSU women cast aside by Furman

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Correspondent

   The East Tennessee State Lady Bucs were unable to defeat conference rival Furman on Tuesday, as the Paladins boasted a 66-54 victory at the Mini-Dome.
   "We came out to a slow start, and we feed off of our offense and not our defense," said Lady Buc coach Karen Kemp.
   Furman jumped out to an early 6-2 lead as Orion Wake pounded the glass on the inside.
   Wake was able to score the Paladins' first six points, two of them coming off of the offensive boards.
   "We had trouble keeping them off of the offensive boards, and when the other team gets 21 offensive rebounds, you're not going to win a whole lot of games," said Kemp.
   The Bucs' first points didn't come until after four minutes of play, when Kiya Verdell made a 15-foot jumper.
   Trailing by six with 11 minutes left in the first half, the Bucs got a spark from Leslie Burleson, who nailed a three-point goal.
   Burleson finished with nine on the night, going three of six from three-point land.
   The Bucs pulled within one with 9:39 to go, with Candace Gibson executing a successful putback after an Erin Thurman missed shot.
   "I just went after the boards, and made the putbacks," said Gibson.
   Along with Misty Copas, Gibson led the Bucs in scoring with 10 points, and acquired a team-high nine rebounds.
   This was as close as the Bucs came to obtaining the lead, as Furman stretched out its advantage in the final seven minutes of the half.
   The Bucs trailed 32-22 at halftime, not being able to keep the Paladins off the offensive glass.
   "They got too many offensive rebounds, and it cost us the game," said Gibson.
   In the second half of play, the Bucs didn't come out with the intensity needed to get themselves back in the game.
   Furman outscored ETSU 8-3 in the first five minutes to grab a 40-25 lead.
   "We wanted to take the ball to the hole and attack, but give Furman's defense credit. They didn't allow us to do so," said Kemp.
   Mary Brock found her stroke for the Paladins in the second half, scoring 13 of her 15-point total, which was the game high for the night.
   The Bucs trimmed the lead back to 10 with 12:13 left after Copas drove the ball down the lane for a lay-up.
   ETSU wasn't able to close the gap to single digits. Furman went on a 13-4 run through the next four minutes of action.
   The Paladins held an advantage by as many as 19, and the Lady Bucs were unable to make any kind of substantial run.
   "It's a whole new season come tournament time, and hopefully we can regroup and do some damage when we get to Charleston," said Kemp.