GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 11, 2003) -- UNC Greensboro used a late run to pull out a 71-60 victory over East Tennessee State in Southern Conference women's basketball action Saturday afternoon from Fleming Gym in Greensboro, N.C.
After a first-half that saw six ties, the second-half proved to be no different with six more ties, before junior forward Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.) gave the Lady Bucs a 56-54 lead with just 5:52 left in regulation. That would prove to be ETSU's final lead as the Spartans put the game away with a 17-4 run to close the game.
UNCG (6-6, 2-2 SoCon) was clutch from the free throw line down the stretch. The Spartans hit 9-of-10 from the line during the 17-1 run and finished the ballgame 19-of-23, good for 82.6%. Free throw shooting haunted the Spartans in each of their two previous conference losses. UNCG failed to shoot 60% from the charity stripe in both of those outings.
Nicole Murray rounded out the double figure scorers with 11 points. Similar to Reed, Murray was all over the court. The senior guard grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists and added three steals. Kellan Law collected a career-high 10 rebounds and added some critical free throws toward the end of the game. UNCG also got solid performances from Megan Honeycutt and Ashley Current off the bench. Honeycutt scored six points in 17-minutes, while Current grabbed six rebounds in 16-minutes.
ETSU (3-10, 0-4 SoCon) struggled from the field the entire afternoon. The Lady Bucs shot just 29.3% from the floor (22-for-75), but stayed in the game thanks to 24 offensive rebounds. Junior forward Lauren Trantham grabbed 17 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, while sophomore forward Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) added 12 boards, five on the offensive glass.
The Spartans finally started to knock down some shots in the second-half. After shooting just 31% (9-for-29) in the opening half, UNCG shot 44.1% (15-for-34) in the second stanza. UNCG also did a better job on the boards in the final 20-minutes. The Spartans, which were out rebounded by seven in the first-half, turned it around, out rebounding ETSU, 30-22 after halftime.
ETSU and UNCG exchanged baskets over the first seven minutes, but the Lady Bucs put together an 8-0 run to grab an 18-10 lead with 10:24 remaining in the opening half. The Spartans responded with a 15-3 spurt, taking a 25-21 lead at the 5:15 mark.
ETSU dominated the boards in the opening-half. The Lady Bucs had a 28-21 advantage on the glass, including 12-5 on the offensive side. Trantham spearheaded the effort, collecting 10 in the first-half. ETSU used the effort, especially late in the first-half, to climb even by intermission, 29-29.
Senior guard Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) led ETSU with 17 points, while freshman guard Adrienne Walker (Augusta, Ga.) scored 13 points. Trantham added nine points, while Lonon picked up eight points off the bench.
UNCG's Amanda Eaton, who led all scorers with 20 points, was 7-for-14 from the field, 2-for-7 from 3-point territory and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Spartan Lindsey Reed was 7-for-11 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. In addition to her 20 points and 13 rebounds, Reed added two steals, three assists and three blocks.
"I was very pleased with our intensity level at the beginning of the game," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp following the game. "We were not able to connect on easy buckets. You can't shoot 29% from the field on the road and expect to win."
East Tennessee State returns to action on Monday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. against Western Carolina from Memorial Center. The game is the first of a double-header with the ETSU men playing College of Charleston in the nightcap.