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The Appalachian

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App State women’s basketball season comes to a close

Senior+guard+Taylor+Lewis+goes+up+for+a+floater+against+Marshall+Feb.+15.
Landon Williams
Senior guard Taylor Lewis goes up for a floater against Marshall Feb. 15.

App State women’s basketball kicked off Sun Belt tournament play Wednesday with a 73-68 victory over the Georgia State Panthers. 

The teams came into the eighth seed vs. ninth seed first-round matchup with identical conference records at 9-9. They split the two-game season series, with the Mountaineers winning the previous contest 93-67 Feb. 17 from the Holmes Convocation Center. 

Senior guard Faith Alston was on fire right out of the gate, scoring nine of the Mountaineers’ initial 11 points. 

Alston ended with a career-high 36 points with 10-15 from the field and 12-14 from the charity stripe. She now owns the program record for most points scored in a postseason win.

After a grinded out first quarter, the Black and Gold built a 27-15 lead in the second, thanks to a 9-0 run capped by a bucket in the paint from Alston at the five-minute mark. The Panthers responded with a 13-5 run, trimming the lead to 32-28 entering halftime.  

After a tightly-contested third quarter, Georgia State went on a 10-0 run and took a 58-55 lead with 6:19 left in the game. The teams traded blows coming down the stretch, with the lead changing hand four times in the quarter.

Trailing 68-67 with 16 seconds remaining, Alston took over the game. She converted six consecutive free throws to go along with a clutch steal to seal the 73-68 Mountaineer win and send the team to the quarterfinals. 

Free throws played a key factor throughout as App State converted 21 shots from the line against the Panthers’ 10.

“This is March and March games are gritty,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “The game wasn’t pretty in spurts, but we won. And that’s what you want to do in the tournament, you want to survive and advance.” 

The Mountaineers took on first seed Marshall Saturday in the quarterfinals. App State lost both regular season matchups. 

The Black and Gold were in trouble from the get-go. Marshall shot 26-45 in the first half and took a 62-27 lead into the break. 

App State played the Thundering Herd much tighter in the second half, but were never able to get within striking distance. Marshall got the 116-74 win, bringing the Mountaineers’ season to a close.

The Mountaineers coughed up the ball 25 times, allowing Marshall to shoot 13-23 from downtown.

Junior guard J’Mani Ingram led the Black and Gold in scoring with 20 points along with seven rebounds. 

“I just want to start off by crediting Marshall,” said Elderkin. “They’ve been elite this season at turning people over, shooting the three and rebounding the basketball.” 

App State finished with a 17-15 regular season record, and a 10-10 mark in conference play, including the two tournament games.

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About the Contributors
Fran Murphy, Reporter
Fran Murphy (he/him) is a junior digital journalism major, english minor, from Asheville, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
Landon Williams, Photographer
Landon Williams (he/him) is a Junior majoring in Commercial Photography from Winston Salem, NC. This is his second year with The Appalachian. 
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