Lady Bucs lose drop lead in final seconds, lose to NKU
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 21:02
The ETSU Lady Bucs finished off a four-game homestand on Monday in a rematch against new Atlantic Sun Conference member, the Northern Kentucky Norse.
The Lady Bucs lost to Northern Kentucky in a tough 77-76 loss in the last seconds. ETSU entered the game on a hot streak, but injuries stopped the momentum the Lady Bucs had built during a two-game home win streak. Starters Destiny Mitchell, a junior, and senior Tosha Austin were benched due to injuries after the win against Lipscomb.
“It was a heartbreaking loss and I wanted the win for this team without Austin and Mitchell,” said coach Karen Kemp. “This group really wanted to get the win for the injured players.”
ETSU needed a strong start from the remaining players with the absence of Mitchell, the team’s offensive leader. After an initial struggle, the Lady Bucs hopped out to an early 8-2 lead. Red-shirt sophomore Tiana Burley proved the offensive weapon for ETSU, scoring 14 of ETSU’s 19 points in the first seven minutes, 19-12 ETSU.
The Lady Bucs continued to roll offensively, stretching the initial lead to double digits, 23-12 ETSU. As the half progressed, the Lady Bucs shooting cooled while the Norse started to find their shot, cutting the ETSU lead from 14 down to nine with 7:12 left in the half, 32-23 ETSU.
Both teams struggled to make shots in the waning minutes of the first half, but at the half ETSU continued to lead 42-32.
Both teams came out scoring to start the second half, but the Lady Bucs could not stretch the lead any further. ETSU struggled with turnovers and fouls at the start of the second half, letting the Norse stay in the game, 52-44 ETSU, with 13:34 left in the game. The Lady Bucs also struggled to defend against the 3-point shot as the ETSU lead shrunk to four points with just over 10 minutes left in the half, 56-52 ETSU.
The Lady Bucs continued to cling to the lead, but Northern Kentucky kept the game within a few possessions. The shallower bench for ETSU started to show in the closing minutes of the game as a very tired ETSU team struggled to keep pace with the Norse, 71-68 ETSU, with under four minutes remaining. The Norse took just their second lead of the game with three seconds left on the clock, 77-76 NKU. The Lady Bucs had the last shot, but it hit the rim and bounced out as Northern Kentucky stole the game at the last second, winning 77-76.
“It’s hard to lose in a game like this,” said Brianna McQueen. “We had to convert on our shots... it would have been a different game, but we fought to the end.”
The Lady Bucs struggled to keep from turning the ball over in the game, with 20 turnovers leading to 18 points for Northern Kentucky. ETSU did out-rebound the Norse 49 to 30 and out-scored them on second-chance points, 15 to 8, respectively.
The Lady Bucs were led offensively by Burley with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double and sophomore Cara Bowling with 15 points. Freshman Brianna McQueen also got in on the action, scoring 13 points. The Lady Bucs now hit the road for a two-game road trip to Florida before returning home.
“We can’t be down after a game like this, and I told them I was proud of them tonight,” said Kemp. “When we get back together, we will regroup and get ready for the trip to Florida.”