SINGLE GAME FOCUS
It’s no secret that the Mountaineers are suffering from a serious New Year’s hangover. Since Jan. 1, App State has dropped six of their seven games. Even worse? Three of those losses have come by a margin of 15 points or more.
This Mountaineer team must put those losses in the past and enter the Trojan Arena with a renewed focus on Thursday. Troy may be one of the toughest teams on their schedule all season, and a slumping App State team hung up on their recent woes doesn’t stand a chance. Head coach Angel Elderkin must reel her players in and have them thinking about the season one game at a time if they’re going to be able to crawl out of the hole they’ve dug themselves in.
While Troy boasts the most prolific offensive production in the conference, scoring an average of 84.3 points per game – almost 21 points higher than what the Mountaineers average – they also enter Thursday with one of the worst statistical scoring defenses. The Trojans allow 77.4 points per game.
If I was Elderkin, that would be my rallying point. This Trojan team will be high-flying, but if they can be cooled down some, there is a lot of room to counterattack. This is an opportunity for the Mountaineers, who have posted a mediocre 36.9 percent shooting from the floor this season, to allow guards like Madi Story and Joi Jones, among others, to get themselves in a groove with extra possessions.
BATTLE OF THE BOARDS
The Mountaineers enter Thursday with a slight advantage in the rebounding category, bringing in an average of 41.4 rebounds per game – the highest in the Sun Belt conference.
Extra possessions will be the name of the game if App State, who only scores an average of roughly 63 points per game, is going to find a way to hang around in this one.
Story by: Chris Warner, Sports Editor