Monday, March 8, 2010

The Lady Bucs: An A-Sun Championship and Beyond

MACON, Ga. – After coming off a record-breaking season in 2010, the ETSU Lady Buccaneers are looking forward to a third trip to the NCAA’s in three years.

Senior forward TaRonda Wiles scored the winning layup to lead the Lady Bucs to the win in the 2010 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Women’s Basketball Championship game with a 63-62 victory against the UNF Ospreys. Senior Siarre Evans led the Lady Buccaneers with 20 points and 11 rebounds, recording her 21st double-double of the season. Wiles and Tarita Gordon each accumulated 14 points each in the victory, and combined for a total of 13 rebounds.

For two seniors on the team, the little piece of net collected postgame means the culmination of four years of hard work and dedication, all leading up to their last dance.

Evans earned A-Sun Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season, as the league’s top-scorer ranks fifth all-time on the ETSU scoring list (1,573) and third all-time on the ETSU rebounding charts (1108) and ranks nationally in rebounds per game (13th) and double doubles (third). The Griffin, Ga. native stands with USC Upstate’s McMillan as the only two players in the A-Sun averaging a double-double, as the senior tallied 16.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, while earning three Atlantic Sun Player of the Week awards (Dec. 28, Jan. 18 and March 1). Evans stands as the first player in A-Sun history to receive four first-team all-conference honors and the sixth player to earn two player of the year selections.

TaRonda Wiles joined Evans with All-Atlantic First-Team accolades after helping guide the Lady Bucs to the top seed, as the senior started all 25 regular-season games. Wiles paced the league with 17.5 points per game, ranks third in free-throw percentage with an 83.1 mark from the line, seventh overall in field goal percentage with a 44.3 rate from the floor. The Danville, Va. native ranks second in the conference with a 41.9 tally from behind the arc. Wiles ranks 48th nationally in points per game. For ETSU, Wiles ranks second in assists (3.0 per game) and third in steals (1.7 per game), in addition to ranking sixth all-time in scoring with 1,562 points.

With the win, ETSU earned the Atlantic Sun’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. ETSU won its ninth consecutive A-Sun Championship game, and the Lady Bucs join Georgia State (2001-03) and FIU (1992-95) as the only schools in A-Sun history to win three straight titles. ETSU also become the first team since Georgia State (2000-2003) to make four consecutive title games.

On Monday, March 15, ESPN will announce ETSU’s fate in the NCAA tournament in a special pairings show.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

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