Mocs edge Mountaineers in overtime


Cory Spiers

App State women’s basketball was step for step with a quality Chattanooga team Monday night, but fell to the Mocs at home in overtime, 73-68.

Chattanooga entered the game undefeated in the SoCon and had won nine consecutive games.

The Mountaineers came into the game having won back-to-back games for the first time this season, but were unable to extend the winning streak despite a team-high 20 points from junior forward Maryah Sydnor.

App State weathered an early surge from the Mocs, who scored the first 6 points of the game on back-to-back 3-pointers from senior guard Alex Black and freshman guard Chelsey Shumpert.

The Mountaineers held strong in the first half and shot 66 percent from the field, compared to 34 percent for the Mocs.

Sydnor and sophomore center KeKe Cooper were strong in the paint in the first half, combining to make all nine of their shots while also combining to pull down five of App State’s 14 rebounds.

“Sydnor was the best player on the floor tonight and they had no answer for her,” head coach Darcie Vincent said.

Despite a good team shooting performance, the Mountaineers turned the ball over 11 times in the first half and went into halftime tied at 26.

The Mountaineer defense held the Mocs to 44 percent shooting from the field in the second half, while hitting 50 percent of their shots.

“From the jump of the game, the thing we knew is we can wear them out and run them, and we did that,” Vincent said. “Defensively, it was making them work.”

Cooper added seven rebounds in the half while also notching three steals and a blocked shot.

“It’s pretty good, I just have to keep going and keep doing the same things,” Cooper said.

Sophomore guard Bria Huffman got into a groove as she scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half.

With App State trailing 61-60 with little more than a minute left in regulation, Cooper grabbed a huge rebound off of a Moc miss and was immediately fouled.

Cooper rattled her first free throw off the back of the iron, but sunk the second one to tie the game at 61.

After a defensive stop in the final 30 seconds, the Mountaineers had a chance to generate a go-ahead basket, but could not get it done as Cooper misfired on a chance.

“Tonight was one of those nights where that one play could have been the difference,” Sydnor said. “I think we can all think of one or two individually that could have made it.”

The Mocs attempted a buzzer beater, but it was not on target and the game went to overtime.

The Mountaineers and Mocs both came out strong in overtime, but with the game tied at 65, App State started to fade in the latter half of the five-minute period.

Senior forward Taylor Hall rattled in a shot to put the Mocs up by two. Black then stole the ball away from App State on the ensuing inbound pass, setting up senior forward Faith Dupree for an easy close-range shot that put the Mocs up by four. The bucket was part of an 8-3 run in the game’s final minutes that doomed App State.

“In overtime we just made some critical mistakes that hurt us,” Vincent said.

The Mountaineers are back in action Friday when they travel to Elon. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

Story: Cory Spiers, Sports editor
Photo: Carson Hager, Staff photographer