JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 20, 2002) - East Tennessee State's women's basketball team has struggled with its perimeter shooting all season long and Furman (9-7, 5-2 SoCon) didn't hesitate to expose ETSU's weakness in an 86-74 victory over the Buccaneers (4-12, 1-6 SoCon) Monday night from Memorial Center.
The Paladin's zone defense limited ETSU's outside shooting efforts, as the Lady Bucs went 0-of-12 from three-point land and shot just over 36 percent from the floor.
"I give a lot of credit to Furman," said Buccaneer head coach Karen Kemp, "They played zone against us all night, and we don't have the outside shooting we have had in the past. That certainly showed tonight."
The game started off close to even with both teams exchanging buckets for the first fifteen minutes. However, momentum went in favor of the Paladins with under one minute to play in the first half on a steal by Kim Lawrence (Atlanta, Ga.) and layup by Tommi Paris (Chattanooga, Tenn.), which gave Furman an 11-point advantage. East Tennessee State trailed the Paladins 37-28 at halftime.
The Lady Bucs came out in the second half with some intensity and cut Furman's lead down to three points after a pair of free throws by senior forward Misty Copas (Kingsport, Tenn.). However, the Buccaneer's engine lost some steam down the stretch as the fans watched the Paladins gradually run away with the game. Furman's biggest lead of the contest came on a fast-break layup by Princess Wells (Marietta, Ga.) with 10 seconds remaining to give the Paladins a 24-point margin.
Despite the loss, ETSU got a valiant effort out of Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.). The junior guard put up a team-best 17 points, which was only one off of tying her career-high for points in a game.
"Kiya stepped up and played hard tonight," Kemp said. "But we have 10 players on our team and for us to be successful we need to have all 10 of them show up and be ready to play."
Junior forward Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) contributed on both ends of the floor by recording her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Junior forward Jesscia Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.) added 12 points and eight rebounds coming off the bench.
Furman was led by sophomore forward Katie Roach (Marietta, Ga.), who tallied her first double-double of the season. Roach scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 13 boards. The Paladins boasted five other players scoring in double figures with Deshara Shealey's (Greenbay, Va.) 16 points leading the way. Paris netted 12 points followed by 11 from Lauren Few (Hendersonville, N.C.), while Jen Nadalin (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) and Laney Harris (Loganville, Ga.) each scored 10.
East Tennessee State wraps up its current four-game home stand with Davidson on Saturday, Jan. 25. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.