JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 5, 2004) - Senior forward Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.) scored a season-high 16 points and junior center Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) added 15, as East Tennessee State (5-7, 5-2 SoCon) won its fifth straight game at home by defeating College of Charleston (1-9, 1-5 SoCon) Monday night, 81-51, from Memorial Center.
"Defensively I can't say enough about this team," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp. "We threw some different looks at them and got some energy from our defense, then our offense just fed off of that."
ETSU tallied 16 steals, led by four different players who recorded three apiece, and forced 25 Cougar turnovers. Charleston never seemed to get its offense in sync - the team's leading scorer, Patrice Bryant, and Carrie Geden each scored eight points, as did Erica Nesmith, who came off of the bench.
Overall, the ETSU bench contributed 40 points to the winning cause. The only player on the roster not to score was red-shirt sophomore Candace Gibson (Warner Robbins, Ga.). However, Gibson managed to pick up the slack on the defensive end with seven rebounds, a season-best, and tied Mayes for the team-high.
Meanwhile, the Lady Bucs shot over 50 percent from the floor for the first time since Nov. 29, 2001 by converting on 52.5 percent of their shots, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. Freshman Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) provided an immediate spark in the first half by connection on all three of her shots from the perimeter and finished with nine points.
The Lady Bucs have now won six straight games at home dating back to last season, while College of Charleston has yet to pick up a victory on the road in three tries. East Tennessee State will travel to Davidson on Saturday, Jan. 10 for a 3 p.m. game versus the Wildcats. ETSU hasn't won on the road this season, either, and will be trying to snap a seven-game winless streak away from Johnson City.
College of Charleston, which was scheduled to play four games this week, will be in action again on Thursday, Jan. 8, when the Cougars travel to Rock Hill, S.C. to face Winthrop in a non-conference game. The Cougars will return home to host Elon on Saturday, Jan. 10 with tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m. in John Kresse Arena.