JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (February 3, 2003) - East Tennessee State's women's basketball team outscored Georgia Southern 98-92 in a fast-paced shooting marathon at Memorial Center Monday night. ETSU shot over 46 percent from the floor, led by six players who scored in double figures, to improve its overall record to 7-13 (4-7 SoCon).
Georgia Southern (13-7, 7-4 SoCon) attempted 87 shots in the contest, most by a Southern Conference team this season. The Buccaneers held an 11-point lead at one moment in the first half, but quietly saw it erased. Georgia Southern took advantage of second-chance opportunities by out-rebounding the Lady Bucs 16-8 on the offensive glass in the first stanza, and the Eagles rallied to enjoy a 44-43 advantage at halftime thanks also in part to accurate shooting at the charity stripe. GSU was 16-of-16 from the free throw line in the first half.
"At halftime we talked about not putting them on the free throw line so much in the second half," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp. "We came out and played much cleaner defense. It just goes to show you when we play focused, we can beat any team in the conference."
The second half proved to be just as close, as there were four ties and eight lead changes. Then ETSU freshman guard B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) let the Lady Bucs breathe a little easier by draining three straight baskets from beyond the arc. ETSU eventually got out to a 10-point lead and momentum would carry the team to the final buzzer.
Pacing the Lady Bucs was junior forward Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.), who scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Freshman point guard Adrienne Walker (Augusta, Ga.) also dropped 19 points, which was a career high. Junior forward Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) added 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Trantham also tallied four blocked shots. Banjo netted a career-high 14 points, including 4-of-4 shooting from three-point land, while junior Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.) and sophomore Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Georgia Southern's Shawnica Hill scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 13 boards. Jessica Everett added 20 points, Tiffany Lanier scored 14, including a perfect 10-of-10 shooting from the free throw line to go along with her three steals, and Kristy McCorkle contributed 11 points coming off the bench.
East Tennessee State's next game is at home on Saturday, February 8 versus Appalachian State in Memorial Center. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. For ticket information please call the ETSU ticket office at 439-5371.