Boone, N.C. - The women's basketball team took the momentum from a strong first half and turned it into a 101-78 victory over Appalachian State on Monday night (Jan. 8) in Varsity Gym. The Mountaineers (2-12, 0-5) were led by Natasha Lettsome (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) whose 17 points and 10 rebounds marked her fourth double-double of the season. The Lady Bucs (2-12, 2-3) were paced by a 27-point performance by Erin Thurman.
The first half was a seesaw battle for control as each team tried to establish a solid lead. The senior team of Jamie Gagliano (Hermitage, TN) and Lettsome worked in tandem to keep the scoreboard in Appalachian's favor, assisting each other's efforts for a lead of three points at the 8:00 mark. With 7:37 left in the first stanza the Lady Bucs leapt ahead as a jumper by Thurman gave them a one-point advantage. Toward the end of the half ETSU managed a 13-point run to carry a 19-point lead into the break.
The second half was dominated by the Buccaneers, who led the Mountaineers by 15 to 25 points at any given time in the stanza. A layup by freshman Kermetris Hill (St. Mary's, GA) at the 15:19 mark spurred ASU on a five point run and helped Hill on her way to a new career-high 12 points. Back-to-back threes from Thurman with 5:29 left pulled the ETSU lead to 27, too much for an eight-point ASU run led by Hill and junior Teresa Richardson (Chattanooga, TN) to make a dent in. The Buccaneers came away from the Southern Conference contest with a 23-point win.
The game was the highest-scoring affair for ETSU since a 103-65 meeting with Georgia Southern last season. Buccaneer Thurman set new career highs in points and made field goals, and tied her all-time high of six three-point baskets. Racquel Ellis, Samantha Copeland, and Jessica Lonon also scored in double figures for ETSU.
Lettsome, Hill, and Aisha Bryant (Durham, NC) were in double digits for the Mountaineers. Richardson set a new career-high of nine points.