GREENVILLE, S.C. (Dec. 1, 2003) -- Sophomore guard Tommi Paris scored a career-high 21 points and went three-for-three from three-point range to key an 83-58 Furman victory over Southern Conference foe East Tennessee State (0-2, 0-1 SoCon) Monday night in Timmons Arena.
Furman (2-1, 1-0 SoCon) jumped out to an early lead in the game, with Paris connecting on a contested layup at the 19:42 mark and making the one shot foul to give Furman a 3-0 lead right off the bat. Furman outscored ETSU 15-4 to start the game and quickly took a double-digit advantage, but the Bucs pulled to within six, 15-9, on a jumper by Lauren Trantham (Asheville, N.C.) and a three pointer by Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.).
The Lady Paladins responded with a 15-0 scoring run that put Furman ahead 30-9 with nine minutes left in the half. ETSU snapped out of its scoring drought at the 8:09 mark on a two-pointer by Tiffani Mayes (Sumter, S.C.), but the damage had been done and the Lady Paladins took a 50-23 lead into the halftime locker room. Much of Furman's first-half domination took place in the post, with Furman outscoring the Bucs 20-6 in the paint. In addition, Furman parlayed 20 first-half ETSU turnovers into 26 points while giving up the basketball just eight times.
After shooting a scorching 51.3 percent from the field in the first period the Lady Paladins cooled off a bit in the second half, connecting on 9-of-27 field goals for a .333 shooting percentage. ETSU countered with a 15-of-35 half from the field and outscored Furman 35-33, but the Lady Paladins earned the 25-point decision.
In addition to Paris' 21 point performance, senior guard Deshara Shealey scored 17, Kim Lawrence contributed 12, and Jen Nadalin scored 11. Orion Wake led Furman on the boards, with eight, contributing to Furman's 44-38 rebounding advantage on the night.
The Bucs were paced by Mayes' 15 points, while Trantham and Wilhoit each added 13. Mayes was also ETSU's top rebounder, with seven boards, while Trantham claimed six and nabbed a team-high four steals.
With the win Furman improves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the Southern Conference, while East Tennessee State falls to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in league play. The Lady Paladins will host Clemson on Sunday, Dec. 7, in a 2 p.m. game, while ETSU plays at UNC Asheville on Wednesday.