BOONE, N.C. (Jan. 8, 2003) — Jessica Jank and Tiffani Johnson scored 14 points apiece to lead Appalachian State University to a 79-76 win over East Tennessee State at the Holmes Center Wednesday evening. The victory was Appalachian's (2-10, 1-2 SoCon) first of the season in league play and improved its record to 2-1 at home. The victory marked the third straight over East Tennessee State (3-9, 0-3 SoCon).
With both programs looking for their first Southern Conference win of the season, it was the Bucs that jumped out to the early advantage. ETSU scored the first six points of the game after Lauren Trantham's (Asheville, N.C.) jumper with 16:25 remaining in the first period, two of her 14 first-half points. It was a closely contested ballgame, with eight ties in the first period, and four lead changes. The Bucs netted six consecutive chances from the floor to take the five-point, 40-35 lead going into the intermission.
ETSU held onto the lead until Johnson's jumper at 14:39 gave the Mountaineers the 50-49 advantage. Appalachian led 76-69 with 3:03 remaining in the contest before the Bucs went on a 5-0 run to trim the margin to 76-74 with 1:37 left. Neither team could muster any offense until Conyers went to the charity stripe to hit 1-of-2 with 21 seconds left. East Tennessee State's Adrienne Walker (Augusta, Ga.) hit a jumper with 13 seconds to play to make it a one-point game. Michelle Conklin drained both free throws with 10 seconds to play to set the final margin.
East Tennessee State's Lauren Trantham led all players with 18 points and nine rebounds. Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) and Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) scored 15 points apiece. B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) added 10 points and five assists off the bench.
All five Mountaineer starters finished in double figures. Conklin registered 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Kiki Conyers recorded 12 points and eight rebounds from the point guard spot. Lindsay Smith tallied 11 points, and five assists.
ETSU returns to action Saturday as the Lady Bucs travel to Greensboro, N.C. to take on SoCon foe UNC Greensboro. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.