Johnson City, Tenn. (Jan 5, 2002) - ETSU's backcourt combination of Erin Thurman (Hixson, Tenn) and Ashley Reed (Barrackville, W.Va.) combined for 41 points, but it was not enough to overcome the Appalachian State Mountaineers who defeated the Lady Bucs, 87-79, Saturday afternoon from Memorial Center.
The Mountaineers (5-7, 1-2 Southern Conference) began the game on an 8-1 run and held the lead for most of the first half. East Tennessee State (7-6, 2-2 SoCon) chipped away at the Appalachian State lead and took a 25-22 lead after a Reed three-pointer with 8:33 remaining in the half. The Lady Bucs held the lead until Appalachian State's Lindsay Smith knocked down a jumper at the buzzer to tie the game at 41 at the half.
Reed was on fire in the first half, scoring 16 points on 4-7 from the floor and 2-3 from three-point range. She was also 6-6 from the free-throw line in the first stanza.
The two teams traded the lead three times within the first five minutes of the second half. After a three-pointer by Thurman tied the game at 61 with 10:03 remaining, the Mountaineers went on a 13-2 run, taking a 74-63 lead with 5:28 left in the game. The Lady Bucs chipped away at the Appalachian State advantage, cutting the lead to as few as five points, but the Mountaineers hit their key free-throws to seal the victory.
"They wanted it more, they outplayed us," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp following the game. "This will open up our eyes," said Kemp. "We came back, but we have to learn that we have to do it from the beginning."
East Tennessee State was led by Thurman, who scored a season-high 23 points on 8-19 from the floor. Thurman tied her career-high with six three-pointers in 15 attempts. She scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half, and hit 5-10 threes in the second stanza.
Reed scored 18 points and dished out a team-high four assists. Senior forward Megan Jackson (Paris, Tenn.) scored in double-digits for the third straight game, tallying 11 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Sophomore Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.), the Southern Conference's leading rebounder, pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Appalachian State was led by junior guard Jaymi Wilson, who has a team-high 21 points and a game-high six assists. Freshman guard Lindsay Smith had 14 points and six rebounds, knocking down two three-pointers. Junior guard Tiffani Johnson came off the bench to score 14 points, including three three-pointers.
The Lady Bucs return to action on Tuesday afternoon at 12 noon as they travel to College of Charleston. Appalachian State returns home for a matchup with Davidson, Tuesday night at 7 p.m.