Johnson City, Tenn. (Feb. 19, 2002) - Furman took a 32-22 lead into halftime and never let that lead go lower than nine as the Lady Paladins defeated the East Tennessee State Lady Bucs, 66-54, Tuesday night from Memorial Center in Johnson City, Tenn.
The first half was a defensive struggle as Furman would shoot 38 percent from the field in the first half and ETSU would shoot just 34 percent from the floor. But the Lady Paladins held a 10-point advantage at the break after forcing the Lady Bucs into 13 turnovers in the first stanza. Furman forward Orion Wake had a game-highs with 10 points and six rebounds in the first half. Junior forward Misty Copas (Kingsport, Tenn.) and freshman forward Candace Gibson (Warner Robins, Ga.) led ETSU at the break with six points each.
Sophomore forward Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) cut the Lady Paladin lead to nine, 34-25, after a layup with 18:51 remaining in the game. However, that was as small as the Furman lead would get. The Lady Paladins would expand their lead to as many as 19 points on three occasions, the last time coming at 65-46 with 1:53 left in the game after an Althea Bufford free throw.
"Give all the credit to Furman," said ETSU head coach Karen Kemp following the game. "Because they kept the defensive pressure on us."
East Tennessee State was led by Copas and Gibson, who tied for the team lead with 10 points. Gibson and Trantham tied for the team lead with nine rebounds.
Furman was led by Wake, who had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The double-double is her eighth of the season. Mary Brock had a game-high 15 points for the Lady Paladins and Bufford added 12 points. Sophomore guard Kim Lawrence had a solid game with eight points, seven rebounds and a game-high five assists.
"We had problems keeping their big people off of the boards," said Kemp. "It is tough to win when you allow 21 offensive rebounds."
The Lady Bucs return to action for their last game of the season, at home against Davidson for Senior Day Saturday in Brooks Gym at 1 p.m.