JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 13, 2003) - East Tennessee State's women's basketball team won its home opener, 83-72, over UNC Greensboro from Brooks Gym Saturday. Five Lady Bucs scored in double digits, led by junior Tiffani Mayes' (Sumter, S.C.) 17 points. Both teams now hold an even 1-1 record in the Southern Conference and are 1-5 overall.
The score was knotted at 41-41 going into the half. UNCG's Amanda Eaton scored 18 first-half points on 4-of-6 shooting from the perimeter. However, Eaton was silenced in the second half despite leading all scorers with 21 points prior to fouling out with 3:52 remaining. Caroline Blair also fouled out of the contest for the Spartans, as ETSU went to the line a total of 33 times during the game and connected on 22 free throws.
Saturday was also the first time in six games the Lady Bucs had fewer turnovers than their opponent. The Spartans' Jacinda Lambert scored 18 points, but had a game-high eight of her team's 20 turnovers, while ETSU committed just 14 turnovers to match its 14 assists.
The Buccaneers largest lead of the game came at the 2:39 mark after B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) sank a pair of free throws. Banjo went a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and finished the game with 10 points. UNCG cut the lead down to eight when Lambert's three-pointer found nothing but net to make the score 80-72 with 1:37 left to play. The Spartans offense was unable to convert on their following possessions, however, allowing ETSU to escape with the 11-point victory.
Senior Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) recorded her second consecutive double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.), who has struggled since coming back from a preseason knee injury, contributed 14 points, while freshman Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) added 11 points and game-high five assists and four steals.
UNCG center Lindsey Reed showcased some of her moves in the paint to finish with 13 points following some nice touches off of the glass, while Megan Honeycutt poured in 11 points in 21 minutes off of the bench.
The Spartans, who have lost three in a row, continue their current road stretch on Thursday when they travel to Chattanooga to take on the defending conference champions. ETSU will stay at home to host SoCon newcomer Elon this Thursday, Dec. 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Memorial Center.