Appalachian State women’s basketball team had a cold shooting day as they eventually fell to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The Mountaineers (1-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) trailed for most of the game until there were four minutes remaining when they sparked a comeback cutting UAB’s (5-1, 0-0 Conference-USA) lead to seven, but two critical turnovers in the last minutes was too much to overcome.
“I was really proud that we didn’t just shut it down,we continued to fight to the end,” head coach Angel Elderkin said. “We had some costly turnovers that hurt us and put the game away for UAB.”
Ball movement is something the Mountaineers pride themselves on, however they only accounted for seven assists in the game, leaving the offense stagnant.
“In a lot of games where we won we have been very good in sharing the ball,” Elderkin said. “Our guards had the advantage today, but today when we would drive the ball we wouldn’t look to kick the ball out to the perimeter.
UAB’s pressure caused the Mountaineers into 18 turnovers. This pressure was something that the guards of the Mountaineers were not used to as they struggled getting to spots on the court to run their offense.
“They (UAB) were really scrappy and physical with us,” sophomore center Bayley Plummer said. “A couple of times we just got the ball took out of our hands. They were also doubling the post and forcing us to take perimeter shots.”
The pace of the game didn’t favor the Mountaineers, as their transition defense looked non-existent at times giving UAB easy shots with nobody in a position to defend.
“Our defense in particular, our transition defense was exposed tonight,” Elderkin said. “We challenged the team to contain UABs 3-point shooting, and it doing that I think our transition defense slipped a little bit.”
With the Mountaineers struggling to put the ball in the basket, freshman guard LaPresha Stanley stepped up, going 7-12 from the field and scoring 14 points.
“I try and come out and play the game with a lot of energy,” Stanley said. “Before today’s game I made sure to stay in the gym after shootaround and put more shots up to prepare myself for the game.”
Elderkin knows every game is a teaching opportunity for this young team, and with the Mountaineers traveling to Chapel Hill on Sunday they have to patch up some of their weaknesses.
“Every moment, every game is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and I believe we are on the right track,” Elderkin said.
Story By: Michael Pigg, Sports Reporter
Photo By: Halle Keighton, Photo Editor