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Mountaineer women’s basketball holds off ULM 78-71

Senior+guard+Faith+Alston+drives+past+the+Warhawk+defense+Feb.+7.+Alston+finished+with+24+points+and+four+assists.
Landon Williams
Senior guard Faith Alston drives past the Warhawk defense Feb. 7. Alston finished with 24 points and four assists.

App State women’s basketball took down the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks inside Holmes Convocation Center Wednesday night, moving the Mountaineers into a tie for seventh in the Sun Belt standings at 12-11 and 6-6 in conference. 

“What an outstanding win,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “I’m just so proud of this group for just staying with our process and being able to take down a tough ULM team.”

Junior guard Emily Carver made her return to the Holmes Center for the first time since returning from injury. She quickly found her footing, leading the team in the first half with 10 points, two rebounds and three assists. 

“Knowing that coming back from injury, my teammates are still that confident in me, it feels great to step back out there,” Carver said. 

The Black and Gold were exceptional on defense early in the game, holding the Warhawks to six points in the first 10 minutes. 

That was followed up by App State’s highest-scoring period. The Mountaineers put up 22 points in the second, led by Carver, senior guard Faith Alston and fifth-year senior guard Taylor Lewis with five points apiece, giving the team a 10-point advantage at the break.

After scoring seven points in the first half, Alston caught fire after halftime and dominated the remainder of the game with 17 points in the second half.

The night was particularly special for Alston, who was presented with a game ball to commemorate reaching the 1,000 career-point mark against Georgia Southern Jan. 18. She is the 28th player in program history to surpass that number.

“I think it was just a little bit of a mind shift,” Alston said about her uptick in performance midway through the game. “Just being more aggressive on my part, but still looking for my teammates.”

The Black and Gold led by six heading into the fourth quarter, and the Warhawks remained within 10 points throughout. With both teams exchanging fouls in the final minutes, the outcome of the game was ultimately determined at the free throw line. 

While the Mountaineers entered the game 12th in the Sun Belt at the charity stripe, they made all six of their final attempts to clinch a seven-point victory.

“We had Faith and Taylor taking those shots, and I think those are seniors stepping up at appropriate times when the game’s on the line,” Elderkin said. “If those free throws don’t fall, the game could have went a different way.”

The night included several events celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day, including a pregame meet-and-greet with athletes from numerous App State women’s sports teams. 

“To see the way that the game has grown, just in my tenure at App, it’s been so awesome,” Elderkin said. “For every girl that could have been in the stands today, be a part of sport. Because there’s so much good that you learn by being a part of a team, and there’s so much good that you learn about adversity.”

Up next for the Mountaineers is a trip to Western Michigan Saturday for another round of the MAC-SBC Challenge. Tip-off in Kalamazoo is set for 2 p.m. and the game can be streamed live on ESPN+.

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About the Contributors
Spence Smithback, Reporter
Spence Smithback (he/him) is a senior journalism major, geography minor, from Jamestown, NC. This is his second year writing for 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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