CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 5, 2003) -- Ninth-seeded College of Charleston used 23 points and 14 rebounds from senior center Wilma Simpson and held eighth-seeded East Tennessee State to just 31-percent shooting en route to a 76-60 on Wednesday night in the first round of the 2003 Mountain Dew Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championships at McAlister Field House.
"I give College of Charleston a lot of credit," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp. They came out and played up to their potential. Wilma (Simpson) said she didn't want this to be her last game. She was determined and got her team fired up."
The Cougars advance to take on top-seeded Chattanooga in the tournament's quarterfinal round tomorrow at approximately 1:00 p.m. Maketta Talley scored 14 points and collected five steals for CofC, while Rachel King added 12 points on four three-pointers. Sophomore forward Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) paced the Buccaneers with 16 points and Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
After College of Charleston (10-18) opened with the game's first four points, the Buccaneers reeled off the next six to take their only lead of the contest at 6-4. Talley answered with a trey to give the Cougars back the advantage, and CofC would not trail again.
Charleston pushed the lead to 11 with 10:43 to go in the first half, but ETSU ran off seven straight points to close within four at 21-17. CofC would push the advantage back to ten before the Buccaneers were able to climb to within two with 1:51 left in the period. Charleston used two Simpson free tosses and a Tiffany Wilson layup to close the stanza with a 31-25 halftime advantage.
"If we could have kept them off the offensive boards, we would have been in a better position to win," Kemp said. "I'm proud of the way our young ladies fought back and gave us an opportunity to win."
East Tennessee State (9-19) mustered just 28.9 percent shooting from the floor in the second half, including 1-10 from behind the arc. The Cougars were able to run their lead to as much as 19 at 56-37 on an Allison Regier layup with 10:58 to go, but the Bucs put together one more charge.
ETSU embarked on a 20-6 run over the next 7:55 and closed the deficit to just five when Misty Copas' connected on a jumper with 3:03 to go to make the score 62-57. The Cougars rattled off the next seven points and finished the game on a 14-3 spurt to make the final score 76-60.