Statesboro, Ga. (Feb. 2, 2002) - Georgia Southern mounted a second half comeback to claim an 84-80 overtime Southern Conference victory over East Tennessee State at Hanner Fieldhouse Saturday evening.
The Lady Bucs (8-13, 3-9) extended a 39-33 halftime lead to 53-44 with 14:28 remaining in regulation before Georgia Southern (10-10, 7-5) began its comeback.
The Lady Eagles cut their deficit to 53-50 over the next minute and a half of the game a Shawnica Hill spurred the run with two layups. ETSU responded with 8-4 run of its own to claim a 61-54 lead only to have Georgia Southern reel off a 10-3 spurt to tie the game at 64 with 4:51 remaining.
The Lady Eagles claimed their first lead, 72-71, of the second half with 1:57 to go before East Tennessee State's Megan Jackson (Paris, Tenn.)and Ashley Reed (Barrackville, W.Va.) made back-to-back baskets to give the Lady Bucs a three point cushion. The scored remained that way until the :17 mark when GSU's Sarah Davis hit a three to tie the game and send the two teams into overtime.
Georgia Southern never trailed in the extra frame as Alie Rousseau hit a layup just 26 seconds into the overtime period. The Lady Eagles led by as much as five, 84-79, before ETSU's Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) hit a free throw with four-tenths of a second remaining to finish off the scoring.
ETSU shot 51.5% during the first twenty minutes of action in building its halftime lead. Erin Thurman's (Hixson, Tenn.) three with 9:10 remaining in the half gave the Lady Bucs a lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the half.
Georgia Southern was led by Danna Simpson, who scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Hill added 14 points for the Lady Eagles while pulling downa team high eight rebounds. Jessica Everett poured in 12 points while Sarah McCary finished with 10. Tiffany Lanier matched Hill with eight rebounds while dishing out nine assists and commiting just one turnover.
Jackson led the Lady Bucs with a career-high 21. Misty Copas (Kingsport, Tenn.) added 14 points while Trantham finished with 10. Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) scored nine points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Georgia Southern returns to action Tuesday, February 4 when it travels to Charleston, S.C. to face the College of Charleston at 7:00 p.m. in Kresse Arena. East Tennessee State concludes its three game road trip as it travels to Appalachian State on Tuesday to face the Mountaineers at 7:00 p.m.