Chattanooga, Tenn. (Jan. 3, 2004) -- Trailing by 27 points at halftime, the East Tennessee State women's basketball team trimmed the deficit down to 14 points in the second half, but eventually fell to defending Southern Conference champion Chattanooga, 72-54, from McKenzie Arena Saturday night.
The Lady Bucs could not overcome one of their worst shooting performances of the year. ETSU shot just 24.2 percent from the floor in the first half and just 4-of-10 from the free throw line. Chattanooga, on the otherhand, utilized its home court advantage to out-rebound the Lady Bucs 30-16 in the first stanza and shot 51.4 percent as a team in taking a 48-21 advantage into the locker room at the half.
ETSU was led by Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.), who scored a season-high 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while recording her first double-double of the season. Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) pitched in 13 points on 6-of-20 shooting (1-of-6 from 3-pt. range), and Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) added 12 points.
Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.), ETSU's leading scorer going into the game, was held to just four points and tied Verdell and Trantham with seven rebounds apiece. Verdell, along with freshman guard Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) both had four steals to pace the Lady Bucs.
ETSU will return home on Monday, Jan. 5, where the Lady Bucs are a perfect 4-0 this season. They will host College of Charleston at 7 p.m. in Memorial Center.