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Mountaineers complete 22-point comeback victory over Ohio

Sophomore+guard+Alexis+Black+dribbles+past+the+Spartan+defense+Nov.+6.
Sam Fleming
Sophomore guard Alexis Black dribbles past the Spartan defense Nov. 6.

App State women’s basketball erased a 22-point deficit Saturday en route to a 71-64 victory over Ohio. 

Junior guard Emily Carver led the team in scoring at 17 points to go with eight rebounds. Senior guard Faith Alston racked up 15 points as well as a career high six steals.

The Mountaineers were unable to find their offensive groove throughout the first half, shooting 26.5% from the field and turning the ball over 18 times. The Bobcats ended the half ahead 39-23, after holding a lead as high as 22 points early in the second quarter. 

App State exited the halftime locker room eager to get back to the high level of competition they are capable of reaching. 

“We went in at halftime and there was no blame, there was no complaining,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “It was like, ‘We’re not us, what do we need to do?’ And at that point, as a coach, it wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about playing the brand of basketball we want to play.” 

At the 6:54 mark of the third quarter, junior guard J’Mani Ingram found a seam on the left side of the court for a layup, which capped off a 9-0 Mountaineer run and trimmed Ohio’s lead to 39-32, bringing App State as close as they had been since the first quarter.

The Black and Gold shot 4-8 from the line in the third quarter and tallied three points off turnovers. App State’s struggles from the charity stripe and inability to convert on the fast break led to Ohio regaining control and entered the fourth quarter ahead 57-40. 

The Black and Gold applied a full court press throughout the majority of the second half, but the intensity ramped up in the final period. The Mountaineers recorded seven steals and 15 points off turnovers in the frame. 

“The press wasn’t a part of the plan,” Elderkin said. “We got down and we said ‘How about we try to speed them up?’ Our players bought into that.” 

Graduate student guard Mariah Frazier made a free throw with 4:24 remaining in the game to tie things up at 59 and extend the Mountaineers’ fourth quarter run to 19-0. Frazier had a big defensive impact throughout the game, finishing with six rebounds and a career-high five steals.

“I gave out a game ball. She won it in terms of her effort and relentless pursuit on defense,” Elderkin said.

With just under three minutes on the clock, Alston drilled a three pointer from the left corner, giving the Mountaineers their first lead since the opening basket of the game. 

The Black and Gold held on to their slim lead coming down the stretch and secured the win 71-64. The victory lands the team at 2-0 on the season.

App State will travel to Virginia Thursday for a matchup with Norfolk State at 11 a.m. The game can be streamed on HBCU+.

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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.
Sam Fleming, Photographer
Sam Fleming (he/him) is a freshman Environmental Science Major, Computer Information Systems minor, from Greensboro, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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