Women’s basketball splits weekend in Georgia, concludes road schedule 5-7


Hiatt Ellis

Redshirt junior guard Janay Sanders elevates over a Warhawk defender for a floater in App State’s 67-61 victory against ULM Jan. 22.

Dan Davidson and Kurt Zottl

The Mountaineers traveled to Statesboro, Georgia, Feb. 10 to take on Georgia Southern, their second of three consecutive road games. Georgia Southern came into this game on a two-game winning streak, while the Mountaineers had won five out of their last six games.

App State women’s basketball was scheduled to play the Eagles Jan. 6 in Boone, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19. 

A back-and-forth first quarter eventually ended up in the Mountaineers’ hands, who led 21-19 after the first. In the second quarter, a back-and-forth game continued, with the score tied 36-36 at halftime. Freshman guard Emily Carver led the way in the first half with 10 points, with senior forward Alexia Allesch right behind with 9 points.

App State dominated for a majority of the third quarter, leading by nine with just 32 seconds remaining. Three points scored by the Eagles in the last 22 seconds of the quarter cut their deficit down to six points entering the fourth quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers were up four points with 46 seconds remaining. Soon after, a clutch three-pointer by Georgia Southern guard Terren Ward cut the lead to just one.  A series of free throws from both sides then brought the score level at 67 apiece, with the Mountaineers having one last shot before the buzzer sounded. A turnover from App State sent the game to overtime.

Allesch hit two consecutive three-pointers in overtime to put the Mountaineers up 73-71, and an action-packed overtime eventually got the score at 80-80 with just 14 seconds remaining. The Eagles put in a game-winning layup with just three seconds left, and the Mountaineers fell 82-80 in OT.

The Mountaineers had four players in double-digits, with Allech scoring 21, Carver with 13, redshirt junior guard Janay Sanders with 15 and super senior Michaela Porter with 12.

App State challenged Georgia State two days later in Atlanta. For the second-straight game, the Mountaineers required an overtime period, this time winning 84-78. 

The Black and Gold stretched out a nine-point lead in the first quarter behind 10 early points from Sanders. The Panthers chipped the lead down to five by halftime but were unable to stop the Mountaineers in the paint. App State entered the break with an eight-point advantage down low. 

Sanders stuffed the stat sheet in the first half, tallying 17 points, two assists and two rebounds. The next highest scorer on either team was Allesch, who added nine points and seven rebounds. 

Both teams traded blows in the third quarter as Georgia State held Sanders to zero points on 0-2 shooting. Porter kept the Mountaineers on top with her team-high five points in the third period. 

The Panthers launched their comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, shooting 67% from three as seven players scored. After Porter hit one of two free throws for App State with 10 seconds remaining, Georgia State’s Ashley Foster drove into the paint and drilled the overtime-forcing score with five seconds on the clock. 

The Mountaineers dominated overtime, outscoring the Panthers 10-4 while holding them to 9% shooting. Porter continued her scoring barrage, pouring in an additional six points to propel the Black and Gold to victory. 

App State won the game down low, overpowering Georgia State 42-26 in paint points. Mountaineer starters were the other difference in the game, outscoring Panther starters 74-44. 

Porter finished with 21 points, 7 assists and 12 rebounds, and Sanders added 20 points and three assists. Sophomore guard Faith Alston and Allesch dropped 15 points apiece, as Allesch finished with 15-point, 13-rebound double-double. 

App State returns home for a three-game homestand to conclude the regular season after wrapping up its road schedule 5-7. The Mountaineers take on Texas State next, which sits one spot above the Mountaineers in the Sun Belt standings at No. 3. 

App State versus Texas State tips off at 2 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Holmes Convocation Center. ESPN+ will broadcast the game live.