App State women’s basketball beats UNC Asheville 70-60, moves to 2-0

App+State+senior+guard+Pre+Stanley+drives+to+the+basket+against+Charlotte+Nov.+25.+Stanley+scored+25+points%2C+with+15+in+the+fourth+quarter%2C+in+the+Mountaineers%27+70-60+win+over+UNC+Asheville+Sunday.

Andy McLean

App State senior guard Pre Stanley drives to the basket against Charlotte Nov. 25. Stanley scored 25 points, with 15 in the fourth quarter, in the Mountaineers’ 70-60 win over UNC Asheville Sunday.

Ben Brady, Reporter

App State women’s basketball won a close battle against UNC Asheville Sunday to open the season with a 2-0 record for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

UNCA held an early 18-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, but App State responded with a 12-0 run in the first 3:51 of the second period to go up on the Bulldogs by five, 23-18.

Despite a back-and-forth game and a 33-31 halftime deficit, the Mountaineers showed resilience in the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 39-27. Head coach Angel Elderkin acknowledged her team’s will to persevere en route to the victory.

“They gave us the resistance that we needed,” said Elderkin. “It was really good to see our team struggle, never quit and stay in the fight for forty minutes.”

The biggest box score differential came in offensive rebounds, as the Mountaineers grabbed 16 offensive boards to the Bulldogs’ five. App State’s emphasis on dominating the glass resulted in 13 second-chance points. 

“It was a point of emphasis for our players to go to the rebound,”  Elderkin said. “We talked about rebounding being effort and not letting the team come in and outwork us.”

Senior guard Pre Stanley led the game in scoring, putting up 25 points with 15 coming in the fourth quarter. Stanley now has 20 or more points in both of the Mountaineers games this season, but she credits her teammates for her individual success. 

“My teammates motivated me and told me to attack and be aggressive,”  Stanley said. “I want to do whatever I can to help the team and for us to be successful.”

Senior forward Michaela Porter filled the statsheet with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds while racking up five steals on the defensive end. Junior guard Brooke Bigott contributed a career-high 15 points, and senior Lainey Gosnell tallied 13 boards.

Coming in off the bench, junior forward Maya Calder added six points with five rebounds while freshmen Dane Bertolina scored five points and Faith Alston added four. The trio shot 6-of-11 and grabbed a collective eight rebounds. 

The Mountaineers will look to continue their early success in their first road matchup of the year when they travel to Blacksburg, Virginia for a 5 p.m. tip-off against ACC foe Virginia Tech on Friday.