GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 21, 2004) -- East Tennessee State junior Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.) tied a career-high with 24 points Saturday, as the Lady Bucs rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half to defeat UNC Greensboro, 65-60, from Fleming Gym in Greensboro, N.C.
With the win, the Lady Bucs (13-11, 13-5 SoCon) set a school record for most conference wins in a season. They have also now won five straight road contests, which is the most consecutive road victories in the history of the program. Meanwhile, the Spartans fall to 8-17 overall and 8-10 in the Southern Conference.
ETSU struggled early on and had trouble stopping UNCG senior Jacinda Lambert. Lambert went 10-of-14 from the field for 25 points.
The two teams traded baskets in the early stages of the contest with UNCG pulling out to an early 10-4 advantage on a Lambert jumper. ETSU rallied to take the lead 11-10 son a 3-pointer from Brook Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.), but UNCG answered on the very next possession on a perfectly executed back door cut from Stephanie Britt. The Spartans then went on a 19-10 spurt capped by two Lambert free throws to extend the lead to ten, 31-21, at the 3:31 mark. The Spartans would hang on over the final minutes to take a 35-28 lead into halftime.
In the second half, ETSU cut the lead to six following back-to-back field goals from Mayes. UNCG answered the Lady Bucs rally to extend their advantage back to ten, 46-36, at the 10:58 mark. Trailing by ten, ETSU reeled off a 10-1 run to pull within one, 47-46, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.
ETSU knotted the score 47-47 on a Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) free throw, but UNCG was unwilling to give away the lead as Jasmie Byrd buried a jump shot on the very next play. The Lady Bucs, however, would retake the lead for the first time since the opening 20-minutes, 54-51, on a B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) 3-pointer. Two Byrd free throw in the final seconds kept the Spartans within three, but Mayes connected on two free throws to seal the game for ETSU.
Byrd and Lindsey Reed joined Lambert in double-figure scoring with 13 and ten points, respectively. The Spartans outrebounded ETSU 42-38 for the game with Reed pulling down a team-high seven.
Verdell added ten points and four rebounds for ETSU, and Wilhoit tied a career-high with eight rebounds. Wilhoit, the team's minute leader this season, played in all 40 minutes of Saturday's contest.
ETSU now travels to Elon for a 7 p.m. tip-off versus the Phoenix.