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Haynes-Overton scores 35 as Bucs get first win

Joe Avento • Updated Nov 29, 2018 at 9:52 PM

The first victory had to come sooner or later for the East Tennessee State women’s basketball team. Erica Haynes-Overton made sure the Bucs didn’t have to wait any longer.

Haynes-Overton scored a career-high 35 points as ETSU rolled past Appalachian State 95-64 in a nonconference game Thursday night at Brooks Gym. It was the Bucs’ first win of the season and it came a lot easier than expected.

“You’ve been pulling for the kids to put it all together and it almost feels like they got a monkey off their backs,” ETSU coach Brittney Ezell said. “It was a matter of time. They’re too good. They’re too talented.”

In just their second home game of a brutal early-season schedule, the Bucs (1-8) put together a 17-0 run in a third-quarter barrage during which they made 11 of their first 12 shots, including 10 in a row.

Appalachian State had a four-game winning streak broken and fell to 4-3.

Haynes-Overton scored 17 points in the first half and did all of her damage from inside the 3-point line. She also finished with six assists and six steals while making 16 of 26 shots.

“I feel like my teammates pushed me to this point,” Haynes-Overton said. “They passed me the ball, got me open and they trusted me.”

That trust was rewarded all night and when the sophomore guard made a short baseline jumper with 7:41 left in the game, she had surpassed her former career high of 29 points. She increased her scoring average from 16.8 points per game to 18.6.

“I think Erica Haynes-Overton played one of the best floor games that’s taken place in this building since I’ve been here,” Ezell said. “Her stat line was incredible.”

Lexus Spears added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Britney Snowden had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucs, who outscored Appalachian State 34-12 in the paint.

ETSU made 15 of 18 shots in a 31-point third quarter and shot 56 percent overall while outrebounding the Mountaineers 47-38.

The Bucs were in an unfamiliar position in the first half — holding a double-digit lead — and they handled it like they’ve been there before. They led 28-15 after one quarter and 46-29 by halftime. ETSU quickly stretched its advantage to more than 20 points early in the third quarter and the rout was on. The biggest lead was 37 points.

Madi Story led Appalachian State with 20 points.

Four ETSU players were out of action because of various ailments. Anajae Stephney and Shynia Jackson were out with concussions, while Jada Craig has an injured knee and Micah Sheetz has an ankle injury.

The Bucs stay at home for a while, playing host to Houston on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Liberty on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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