JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 20, 2003) - Led by a career-high 24 points from junior center Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.), the East Tennessee State women's basketball team rebounded from a four-point deficit at the half Saturday to defeat Wofford 74-68 from Memorial Center. Mayes also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and had four steals, as the Lady Bucs improved to 3-0 on their home court.
ETSU (3-6, 3-1 SoCon) watched Wofford's Nakia Mister shoot 6-of-9 from the floor in the first half and score 13 points, while the Terriers took a 38-34 lead into the locker room at halftime. However, Mister was held to zero second-half points and Wofford was out-rebounded 17-11 on the offensive glass for the game en route to the ETSU comeback.
The Terriers (0-9, 0-3 SoCon) led by as many as nine points in the second frame, but the road has not been friendly to first-year head coach Samantha Young to start the 2003-04 season. Wofford has lost all seven road games it has played in.
"Wofford is a good team," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp. "They make a tough match up for us, because they can put five people on the court at one time who can shoot from the outside."
Wofford drained five 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes of the game, but shot a cold 3-of-11 from beyond the arc in the second half. LaToya Strong finished with nine points, all on 3-pt. baskets, while K.C. Correll led the Terriers with 14 points and four steals. Ricaye Harris added 11 points.
ETSU's Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.) posted double digits in the scoring column for the second straight game, filling in for the flu-stricken Lauren Trantham. Lonon netted 12 while pulling down seven rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end. Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) and Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) both scored nine.
"Somebody was going to have to step up for us today, and Tiffani and Jessica did just that," said Kemp. "As a team we have improved every day, and we believe we can get a respectable finish in the conference."
With the victory, the Lady Bucs are now 3-1 in SoCon play with their lone loss coming at Furman in the league opener. It is the best conference start for ETSU since the 1994-95 season in which the Lady Bucs went 11-3 versus conference opponents.
ETSU will have a few days to rest over the holidays, but will return to practice on Dec. 26 in order to prepare for its next game against SoCon opponent Georgia Southern. The Eagles will come to Johnson City on Thursday, Dec. 30 for a 7 p.m. game in Memorial Center.