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Written by ASU Sports Information   
Saturday, 18 December 2010 17:59

Appalachian State University women’s basketball could not hang on to a double-digit second half lead down the stretch, and Furman was able to drill a three-pointer to hand the Apps a heart-breaking 63-62 loss at Timmons Arena Saturday afternoon.

The defeat is Appalachian’s second straight, dropping ASU to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in league play, while Furman improves to 6-3 on the season and a perfect 2-0 in Southern Conference action.

ASU clung to a narrow four-point lead, up 62-58 with less than 30 seconds remaining, but Furman’s Kelly O’Connor was able to draw a foul on a three-point shot and converted on two of her three free throws.

Coming up short on glass, the Apps were unable to grab the rebound off the missed third free throw giving Furman another offensive opportunity.

Taking advantage of the second-chance opportunity, Kendra Berry scored her first career three-pointer with three seconds remaining to make the score 63-62 in the Paladins’ favor.

O’Connor and Berry were two of four Paladins that ended the game in double-figures scoring.

Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman) inbounded the ball across the midcourt line, and senior Sam Ramirez (Fayetteville, N.C./Southview) was able to get a decent look at the basket as she attempted a trey with two seconds left on the clock, but the shot did not fall and the Black and Gold were dealt the one-point setback.

It appeared as though Appalachian would run away with the contest in the second-half as Ramirez scored five straight points, making the score 51-39 with 10:28 remaining.

Furman continued to chip away at its deficit however and an 8-0 Paladin streak put Furman right back into the contest, earning them their first lead of the second-half up 57-56.

Ramirez was able to answer connecting on yet another trey and Appalachian regained the lead once more, going on top 59-57.

Ramirez finished with a game-high 23 points, including going 5-10 from behind the arc, while dishing out four assists and grabbing three rebounds.

Two made free throws by Dewart and one made free throw by Canesha Edwards (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) pushed Appalachian’s lead out to four points, but heroics by Furman in the final seconds were too much for the Black and Gold who suffered the 63-62 loss.

Appalachian was impressive in first-half play and used a 9-0 run to jump out to its largest lead of the first half, taking a commanding 26-12 lead with just under eight minutes left until intermission.

Courtney Freeman (Carlton, Ga./Madison County)  led ASU during the run pouring in four points, while teammates Michelle Taylor (Tampa, Fla./HB Plant) and Ramirez followed suit offensively.

Furman however answered posting a 10-2 run of its own, with Berry pacing the Paladin attack.

Despite FU able to cut its deficit to as narrow as six points off of two Berry free throws, Ramirez came up big right before the break as she drilled a trey, to earn the Black and Gold the 31-22 lead heading into halftime.

Stout Appalachian defense helped pushed the Apps to advantage as they limited Furman to a dismal 28.6 field goal percentage including going 0-5 from behind the arc.

Unable to put Furman away in the second-half, the Paladins’ won their fifth straight home contest and handed ASU its second conference loss of the season.

Looking to rebound, ASU returns to the Holmes Center, Monday, December 20, as the Mountaineers host SoCon rival Western Carolina. The contest is set to tip at 7 p.m.

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