JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2003) - East Tennessee State's women's basketball team struggled to find their shooting touch as the Buccaneers fell 73-62 to the Spartans of UNC Greensboro in Southern Conference action Tuesday night at Memorial Center.
The Buccaneers were held to just over 27 percent shooting from the floor in the second half and 31.7 percent for the game. Despite their poor shooting, the Buccaneers remained in the game by stepping up their defensive pressure, forcing the Spartans into 22 turnovers.
"I thought we played well defensively, but we didn't make plays on the offensive end when we needed to," said Buccaneer head coach Karen Kemp.
The game started off close with both teams trading baskets. With 42 seconds left to play in the half Greensboro went up six, 36-30, which would be the largest lead for either team. ETSU junior, Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) hit two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to cut the lead to four, 36-32, going into the half.
In the second half, the Buccaneers got within one point of the Spartans at 42-41 with 15:42 remaining. Greensboro went on a 10-2 run with 3-pointers by Nicole Murray and Shanika Jackson to give the Spartans a 52-43 lead with 13:07 left to play. Greensboro caught fire from behind the arc at that point nailing five 3-pointers after shooting just 16.7 percent from long range in the first half.
ETSU (8-16, 5-10 SoCon) would get within four points twice, but a Murray 3-pointer and four straight free throws by the Spartans would give Greensboro a 67-57 lead with 5:11 left in regulation. ETSU again got within striking distance, cutting the lead to six, 67-61, with 1:43 remaining, but three key offensive rebounds off of missed free throws would seal the Spartan victory.
The Buccaneers were led by Trantham who recorded her eighth double-double of the season netting 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) chipped in 13 points and recorded three steals, while Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.) added 10.
Murray -- who scored a career high 25 points -- led Greensboro, followed by Lambert who scored 20 to go along with nine boards.
The Buccaneers travel to Davidson, Feb. 22, with the tip set for 3 p.m. Greensboro (12-11, 8-7 SoCon) will travel Feb. 22 to the College of Charleston.