Women move safely into conference tournament-eligible slot with win
Entering Saturday’s matchup against ULM (11-15, 7-10 Sun Belt), App State women’s basketball (12-14, 7-10 Sun Belt) found themselves tied with the visiting team for the eighth spot in the Sun Belt standings. With a convincing 80-61 win, the Mountaineers improved their chances of playing in the conference tournament later this month.
The Mountaineers came out looking to set an aggressive tone, running a full court press.
The aggression also carried over to the team’s rebounding, which saw the Mountaineers pull down 14 more rebounds than the Warhawks, including 20 on the offensive glass.
Sophomore guard Bria Carter recorded a team-high 11 rebounds.
Senior forward Maryah Sydnor led the team in scoring, recording 18 points on 7-17 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, four assists and one block.
Three other Mountaineers scored in double digits with junior guard Bria Huffman, junior forward Ashley Bassett-Smith and freshman guard Madi Story recording 14 points each.
For the game the Mountaineers shot 45.5 percent from the field while holding ULM to 34.5 percent, including a paltry 23.3 percent in the second half.
Head coach Angel Elderkin praised her players for their effort and their desire, but said that they couldn’t be complacent with two games left.
“We need to take care of business,” Elderkin said. “We aren’t done yet. We know we can get to [the sixth seed] if we play hard and keep working.”
Sydnor said bench scoring was a key catalyst in the win, as the non-starters combined for 42 points.
Huffman said that down the stretch for the Mountaineers, the focus is on maintaining a consistent effort.
The Mountaineers return to action Thursday at 5 p.m. to take on Texas State in Boone.
Men’s basketball beats ULM in blowout fashion 66-43
Strong starts have been hard to come by for App State men’s basketball (10-17, 7-11 Sun Belt) this year, but taking advantage of that against ULM, the Mountaineers downed the Warhawks (19-10, 13-5 Sun Belt) 66-43 in a game that never seemed in reach for the visitors.
App State was able to take a commanding 34-19 lead into the half thanks to the play of junior forward Jacob Lawson and junior guard Frank Eaves.
Lawson recorded two blocks in the first half and finished the game with three in addition to three steals, eight points and six rebounds.
Eaves poured in a game-high 28 points, including 15 in the first half that helped the Mountaineers establish a lead.
App State continued their dominant play in the second half, never leading by less than 13 points.
As a team, the Mountaineers moved the ball well, recording 15 assists on their 24 made baskets.
Freshman guard Jake Babic led the Mountaineers with six assists.
App State shot 49 percent from the field against a ULM defense that is ranked inside of the top 10 nationally in opposing field goal percentage.
However, it was the Mountaineers that looked like they had the top 10 defense, as they held ULM to 33.9 percent shooting for the game.
“I thought we played with great energy,” head coach Jim Fox said. “I thought we showed energy on the offensive and defensive end. We really moved the ball well, valued the ball and didn’t turn it over.”
Fox also said junior forward Michael Obacha was a spark for the team thanks to his high level of energy and effort from the beginning.
The loss for ULM was only their fifth Sun Belt loss of the season.
App State returns to the hardwood Thursday 7:30 p.m. at Holmes Convocation Center to take on Texas State.
Story: Lee Sanderlin, Intern Sports Reporter