Mountaineers win second straight conference matchup

Senior+forward+KeKe+Cooper+goes+up+for+one+of+her+6+baskets+during+Saturdays+64-52+victory+over+Louisiana-Monroe.+Cooper+notched+her+fourth+double-double+of+the+season+in+the+win.++Photo+courtesy+of+Appalachian+State+Athletics+%7C+Bill+Sheffield.+

Senior forward KeKe Cooper goes up for one of her 6 baskets during Saturday’s 64-52 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Cooper notched her fourth double-double of the season in the win. Photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics | Bill Sheffield.

Angelo Errico

Appalachian State (8-13, 5-7 in Sun Belt) recorded its second straight win against a Sun Belt opponent on Saturday when they defeated the University of Louisiana-Monroe (9-12, 3-9 in Sun Belt) 64-52.

“We’ve been through it all this season,” head coach Angel Elderkin said. “When we don’t get the call you see body language, you see different reactions and it’s part of the foundation that has been built from all the hits we have taken this season.”

Elderkin spoke on the Mountaineers’ new “no-dribbling” drill during practice that helps move the ball and attack on offense to ensure a successful drive.

“Our offense works, we just need to give it time to work,” sophomore guard Madi Story said.

Story started the game off with a 3-pointer and an immediate steal following the basket to begin the Mountaineers’ high-scoring first period, where they shot 4 of 7 from the 3-point line and 50 percent from the field.

ULM did not score in the last 4:30 of the first period, which allowed the early shooting Mountaineers to take an 8-point lead into the half.

The Mountaineers lost the three-ball in the second period, going 0 for 4, but stayed consistent from the field, shooting 53.8 percent. Senior forward/center KeKe Cooper became not only the team’s leading defender but also a key scorer, beginning the half 3 of 3 from the field.

Cooper said the key to holding ULM to virtually three scorers was communication.

“Everybody was just talking and moving around and just making the extra drop downs,” Cooper said.

Cooper would go on to shoot 62.5 percent from the field for the rest of the game and led the team with 10 rebounds, seven of which came on the defensive end.

What App State lacked in the three ball, they made up for in the consistent field goal shooting that only trailed off in the fourth period. They also capitalized at the charity stripe, shooting 81.8 percent and the bench stepped up to contribute 20 points.

“Now players are understanding their role and their importance,” Elderkin said. Elderkin spoke on how every player is told of their plus-minus stats after they come off the court to see if they truly are making a difference when they step out onto that hardwood.

App State women’s basketball looks to extend their Sun Belt winning streak Thursday when they hit the road to take on Texas State.

Story by: Angelo Errico, Sports Reporter