By Carey Phillips
East Tennessee held off Western Carolina for a 62-57 Southern Conference women’s basketball victory Saturday at the Ramsey Center.
Kaia Upton scored 17 points for ETSU. Micah Scheetz and Shynia Jackson both finished with 10.
Lauren LaPlant paced the Lady Cats (3-14, 0-2) with 14 points. Tembre Moates and Alyssa Walker added 10 apiece.
The Lady Bucs built their margin by going 17 of 22 from the foul line, while WCU was six of six.
ETSU opened the second half with a 10-2 run, including five by Jackson, for a 39-31 lead with 7:27 to play in the third quarter.
The Lady Cats cut the gap to 44-43 entering the fourth period on Jewel Smalls layup to beat the buzzer.
A layup by Smalls with 3:02 on the clock gave Western its first lead of the second half, 52-51.
Tijuana Kimbro’s layup at the 1:35 mark put the Lady Bucs ahead for good, 55-54.
Walker’s three-pointer brought WCU within 58-57 with 25 seconds to go.
Scheetz went four of four from the foul line in the last 13 seconds to clinch the victory.
There were three lead changes and six ties and neither team led by more than two points in the opening period. Jada Craig’s free throw with 10 seconds left gave ETSU a 16-15 edge at the quarter break.
The second stanza was also close with five lead changes and three ties.
Western was up 22-19 on LaPlant’s three-pointer at the 7:36 mark.
The Lady Bucs took a 25-22 lead after Kimbro’s layup with 5:07 on the clock.
The Lady Cats went in front 29-28 with 1:32 to play on a layup by Andrea Martin-Ruiz.
Craig’s free throw with 1:08 to go tied it 29-29 at halftime.
ETSU shot 35.1 percent from the floor to WCU’s 36.1 percent.
Smalls’ 15 rebounds helped Western to a 40-35 advantage on the boards. Jackson led the Lady Bucs with nine.
The Lady Cats turned the ball over 17 times, compared to ETSU’s 12.
Completing the WCU scoring were Smalls with eight, Andrea Martin-Ruiz with seven, Judith Martin-Ruiz with five and Diarra Smith with three.