JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (Nov. 22, 2004) - The Lady Bucs basketball squad defeated Tusculum College tonight at Memorial Center in the 2004-2005 home opener 77-61 behind a 24 point and 15 rebound night for Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.). ETSU improves to 2-1 for the year, while the Pioneers fall to 1-3 in the loss.
The Lady Bucs were fired up for the home opener and started with a strong showing in the opening minutes of the first half. After a Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.) lay-up at the 14-minute mark, the Lady Bucs took their first lead of the night with the 8-6 advantage. The Lady Bucs opened up the lasting lead just before the 10-minute mark after a Mayes lay-up gave the Bucs the 20-14 upperhand. Heading into halftime ETSU had opened the lead to a 12-point margin at 33-21.
Leading the way for ETSU in the first half was Mayes who by the six-minute mark had already posted her first double-double of the young 2004-05 campaign. Her 16 points and 11 boards led all scorers in the first, while B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) added five points and one assist, with Candace Gibson (Warner Robbins, Ga.) posting eight rebounds in 11 minutes of play in the first half.
With a large advantage heading into the second half, Lady Bucs head coach Karen Kemp began to go deep into her bench as Michelle DeVault (Columbus, Ohio), Jenny Norman (Peachtree City, Ga.), Kelly Turman (Atlanta, Ga.), and Alisha Holmes (Orangeburg, S.C.) all posted valuable minutes for the Bucs. The Pioneers would go for a tear in the waning minutes of the half going on a 14-0 run before ETSU managed to score points on the Tusculum defense at the 2:14 mark edging the score to 71-56 off the Holly Moring (Irmo, S.C.) three-point basket.
"I was very proud of the effort from the girls tonight. We played hard and with a lot of enthusiasm in our home opener," Lady Bucs head coach Karen Kemp said. "Our schedule doesn't get any easier, so we'll take the next few days to focus on Temple and the rest of our season ahead."
Mayes finished the night with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds, just four boards off of her career-high 19. Moring and Banjo each finished with 13 points in the win, while Wilhoit added eight points from the guard position. The Pioneers were paced by Ronnie Watkins who tallied 13 points and six rebounds, while Amber Redding added 12 rebounds and three points in the loss.
The Lady Bucs return to action Friday night when they host Temple University at 7:00 p.m. in Memorial Center. The game will also be broadcast live on the internet through the Buccaneer Sports Network, visit ETSUBuc.com for details.