App State women’s basketball picks up 68-49 win over ULM on senior day

Senior+guard+Kaila+Craven++received+a+special+10+second+runoff+at+the+beginning+of+App+State%27s+68-49+win+over+ULM+on+Saturday.+Craven+was+deemed+medically+disqualified+but+stepped+on+the+floor+one+last+time+on+senior+day.+

Courtesy App State Athletics

Senior guard Kaila Craven received a special 10 second runoff at the beginning of App State's 68-49 win over ULM on Saturday. Craven was deemed medically disqualified but stepped on the floor one last time on senior day.

Cameron Burnett, Reporter

The Mountaineers have endured ups and downs during the season but were able to put together an impressive performance on senior day winning 68-49 against the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Head coach Angel Elderkin started all five seniors, including Kaila Craven who has been through a lot during her time at App State.

“Kaila Craven didn’t get to show App Nation for four years how much she loves basketball. She’s a special talent, you can’t find her so to be able to honor her, this community loves Kaila … she’s impacted so many people and although everybody wanted her to fire a three, including me, we couldn’t let her,” Elderkin said.

Craven has run into many obstacles in her career, having multiple surgeries and eventually becoming medically disqualified from playing this year. 

“Kaila is like our mom. She supports us even when she can’t play, but she’s there, and it’s like she makes a big impact,” said junior guard Pre Stanley.

Stanley was amongst many of the players who have been impacted by Craven’s perseverance and support.

“I played with her in high school, its been fun to see her. I played with her my freshman year, on and off injuries, but Kaila is just that Whatever life’s thrown at her, she’s had some unfortunate injuries … but she kept chugging along,” said senior forward Bayley Plummer, who finished with 11 rebounds against ULM .

On a day synonymous with appreciation and celebration, the Mountaineers were able to honor Craven and all of the seniors with a double-digit win.

Senior guard Ashley Polacek suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter but came back late in the third quarter and was able to knock down two three-pointers to extend the lead after ULM went on a 19-6 run. 

 “I didn’t want to put her back in, obviously she’s a big piece of our team, and I want to make sure we have her for our final stretch and she said, ‘Coach I can go, I’m fine,’ and the trainer said she was fine and I thought her performance, I talked to our senior class about leaving a legacy of grit, I haven’t seen a grittier performance this season from any member of our team,” Elderkin said.

Polacek finished with 12 points, sparking the run to stretch the lead back out and weather the storm from ULM.

Junior guard Michaela Porter scored a career high 15 points in the first half and finished the game leading all scorers with 17. Porter was one of three App State players who scored in double digits. The Mountaineers also scored 19 points off turnovers in the first half, contributing to the 41-19 lead.

The Warhawks were able to get the lead down to single digits, but the Mountaineers made some timely shots and won the game 68-49.

The Mountaineers have a week off before their final game of the regular season at Coastal Carolina on March 7.