Johnson City, Tenn. (Jan. 26, 2002) -- The East Tennessee State Lady Bucs held off a second half rally by Wofford by closing the game on a 17-7 run to defeat the Lady Terriers, 78-67, Saturday afternoon from Memorial Center.
East Tennessee State led the game 39-27 at the half. ETSU led by just one, 14-13, with 11:12 remaining in the first stanza. Over the next four minutes, the Lady Bucs went on a 14-2 run to take a 28-15 lead with 5:54 remaining in the half. Junior forward Misty Copas (Kingsport, Tenn.) led ETSU with 10 points on 5-5 shooting in the opening half. Wofford senior forward Jenny Nett had 11 points at the half for Wofford.
The Lady Bucs ran their lead to a game-high 16 points, 47-31, with 16:37 remaining in the game after a Copas layup. From that point, Wofford went on a 22-7 run to cut the lead to just one, 54-53, with 9:08 left in the game. The game would then go back and forth with Wofford cutting the ETSU lead to as few as one on three occasions late in the game, but they could never wrestle the lead away from ETSU.
The Lady Terriers last cut the lead to one for the final time, 61-60, after a Natalie Walsh three-pointer with 5:34 remaining. That was when the Lady Bucs would turn it on and close the game by scoring 17 of the last 24 points. Freshman guard Ashley Reed (Barrackville, W.Va.) led ETSU during that stretch, scoring seven points in the final 3:05 of the game.
"I knew that they would fight back, they have some great outside shooters. But we played some great defense on their perimeter players," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp.
Copas led ETSU with a season-high 19 points on 8-10 shooting. She came within one point of her career-high in points that she set when she tallied 20 points against Western Carolina on Feb. 17, 2001. Copas, coming into the game averaging 7.2 points per game, has been on fire this week, averaging 18.5 points per game after scoring 18 points against Davidson on Tuesday. She has shot 15-22 (.681) from the floor this week.
Lady Buc sophomore forward Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) scored 12 points and added 15 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Reed also scored in double-digits for ETSU, tallying 14 points in the win. Reed also tied for the game-high with five assists.
"I think what was key for us was (ETSU senior forward) Megan Jackson's defense on (Wofford senior forward Jenny) Nett," said Kemp. "She ended up with 16 points, but she really had to work for them."
Wofford was led by Nett, who had a solid all-around game with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Senior forward Cathey Franks recorded her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Freshman guard Ricaye Harris also scored in double-digits for the Lady Terriers, scoring 10 points and adding four steals.
With the win, ETSU snaps a seven-game losing streak and runs their record to 8-11, 3-7 in Southern Conference play. Wofford falls to 11-8, 5-5 in conference play.
"I just felt like we were right there in most of our games recently," commented Kemp following the game. "I felt that if we could hang on and win one, we could really get our confidence up."
The Lady Bucs return to action on Monday night at 7 p.m. as they travel to in-state rival Chattanooga. Wofford continues their road trip, playing College of Charleston Monday night at 7 p.m.