Mountaineer women’s basketball splits Arkansas road trip


Courtesy of Mark Wagner, App State Athletics

Senior guard Brooke Bigott shields off a Little Rock defender as the Mountaineers capture an 11-point conference win.

Ben Gosey and Connor Davidson

App State women’s basketball returned to the hardwood Thursday, splitting a pair of games against Sun Belt rivals Arkansas State and The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans.

This was the Mountaineers’ first action since Dec. 21, after having their previous four matchups canceled due to COVID-19 protocols and injuries on the team. 

The Black and Gold started the new year hot, scoring the most points by an App State team since the 2018-19 season. The high-scoring affair had 14 ties and 12 different lead changes, with neither team ever having more than an eight-point lead, but the Mountaineers fell 98-92. 

Six Mountaineers finished with double-digit points, led by junior guard Janay Sanders with 19. Senior forward Alexia Allesch posted her third double-double of the season, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds, tying her career highs.

Freshman guard Emily Carter finished with 14, shooting 50% from behind the arc. Sophomore guard Faith Alston added 12, with senior guard Brooke Bigott and super senior Michaela Porter both contributing 10. 

App State played again Saturday, facing off against the Little Rock Trojans. The Mountaineers started the game with a strong defensive effort but couldn’t find a way to score as efficiently as they did against Arkansas State.

In the first half of the game, App State never led the Trojans but managed to keep the score close and tie the game at 22 heading into halftime. Sanders led the way for the team with seven points at the break.

To start the second half, the Mountaineers jumped out to a four-point advantage and held that lead over Little Rock the remainder of the game. The Trojans kept the game in reach, never allowing the lead to grow past seven points for the rest of the third quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, App State went on an 11-2 run extending its lead to 52-37, thanks to a pair of three pointers from Allesch. Little Rock bounced back with a 12-2 run of its own to narrow App State’s lead to five, but the Mountaineers scored the last six points at the free throw line and came out on top, 60-49.

Five Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by Alston with 14. Sanders added 13, Porter and Carver tacked on 11 apiece, and Allesch scored 10. 

With the win, App State improves to 7-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play. The Mountaineers look to build on their win when they return home to host Louisiana Jan. 20 and Louisiana-Monroe Jan. 22.