Lady Bucs upset Chattanooga

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT

  The temperature outside the ETSU Mini-Dome was cool and brisk, but inside the atmosphere was like a percolating coffee pot- boiling hot.
   The ETSU Lady Bucs pulled a major, early season upset by defeating the pre-season conference favorite UT-Chattanooga Lady Mocs 92-83 in the Mini-Dome.
   "Our players really stepped up today and played with the intensity needed to win a big game like this," stated an elated Lady Buc head coach Karen Kemp. " We really wanted this game bad, and our play exhibited that."
   The Bucs took an early 9-4 lead with 16:24 showing in the first half. The Lady Mocs showed why they were picked as favorites, as they stormed back to tie the game at nine at the 13:58 mark.
   The Lady Mocs eventually took a 13-12 lead with 12:25 left, and were able to maintain a slim lead until Samantha Copeland of the Bucs drilled a three-point shot to put the Lady Bucs back in front 17-15 with 9:52 left in the half.
   The game would be close until the Lady Mocs Nneka Irons would hit a long-range three to give the Lady Mocs a one-point lead at 20-19.
   The Lady Bucs then made a 9-2 run over a span of five minutes to edge their lead to 30-22 with 4:30 showing on the clock.
   The Lady Mocs would not go away as they then proceeded to reel off eight points in two minutes to tie the contest. Miranda Warfield and Mandy Rollins were instrumental for the Lady Mocs as they each hit three-point field goals to pull UT-C even.
   ETSU managed to take a four point lead with 2:03 remaining, before UT-C would once again storm back to take a one-point lead into the break 35-34 on a trey by Heather McDivitt.
   The second half belonged to Megan Jackson and Ashley Reed of the Lady Bucs, as the two would come out strong when it was needed the most. Jackson recorded 15 points and Reed 12 in the final stanza for the Bucs.
   " I normally am not an offensive player," stated Jackson of her performance. " Defense is my game, but this really gives me a lot of confidence in my scoring ability."
   The second half was one of a frenzied pace, as neither team could establish more than a six-point lead in 19 of the first 20 minutes of play. ETSU had that lead at 43-37 at the 16:59 mark of the half.
   With 2:16 left in the contest, the Lady Bucs found themselves down by one 83-82. That's when post-player Lauren Trantham would put the Bucs ahead to stay with a tough move to the bucket 84-83.
   The Lady Bucs then slammed the door on the Lady Mocs as they held them scoreless over the finally 2:16 of play, while they would score eight in the same span to take the nine point win.
   "I don't know if this helped us or not because we are the team everyone will be gunning for since we knocked off the conference favorite," stated Coach Kemp after the contest.
   All-American candidate Damita Bullock of the Lady Mocs scored 17, but was held to six in the first half by the defensive play of Jackson. After scoring 11 early in the second half, Trantham of ETSU then shut the UT-C star down the rest of the way.
   Reed was pleased with the victory: "We just played awesome as a team, and we got the win we wanted. We will us this as a motivational tool, and try to show everyone it wasn't a fluke. This is just one game though, and we still have to play hard the rest of the way."