A strong second half helped propel Appalachian State University basketball past Furman by a 68-58 final on Monday at the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers (15-6, 9-4 SoCon) downed the Paladins (10-13, 6-8) for the second time this season and the fifth-straight time in the series.
The fast-paced Apps struggled through a sloppy first half as Furman dictated the half with a slower game, but the Mountaineers never allowed the Paladin lead to exceed four points. Freshman LaShawna Gatewood made her first career start against Furman and opened play with a layup (2-0). Five plays and 3:10 later, Furman took control of the lead off a Brittany Hodges layup (7-6). Appalachian would manage to knot the score five times in the remaining 16:33. With 1:41 left in the first period and Furman ahead by one (28-27), Brittany Hodges sent Raven Gary to the line for two, knotting the score for the sixth time (28-28). In the final six seconds leading to halftime, Sydnor grabbed a steal and shot a jumper for two, giving the Mountaineers a two-point advantage (30-28) heading into the locker room.
Anna Freeman led first-half scoring with 12 points, along with eight rebounds, while Sydnor grabbed three steals.
Appalachian opened the second half strong and led by as many as 14 points en route to another Southern Conference victory. Holli Wilkins earned Furman a brief advantage in the early minutes of the half, including a jumper at 19:31 and a layup 1:11 later to knot the score twice more (32-32). Wilkins edged the Purple & White with a free throw shot off a Gary foul (33-32), followed by a basket seconds later (35-32). Gary responded with a quick jumper to pull the lead back in Appalachian's favor (36-35), and climb from there, reaching a 14 point lead with 2:43 remaining.
Anna Freeman led all players with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Maryah Sydnor scored 19 and grabbed three steals. Kelsey Sharkey poured in 10 to go along with seven boards.
The Apps shot just 34.5 percent (10-of-29) in the first half, but turned it on in the second half and connected on 50.0 percent of their shots over the game's final 20 minutes.
Game Notes: Appalachian shot 42.1 percent (24-for-57) on the night. The Black & Gold pulled down 42 boards to Furman's 33, while grabbing 11 steals. The Mountaineers managed 25 point off of turnovers and 12 second chance points.
ASU 68, FURMAN 58
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Furman 28 30 - 58
Appalachian State 30 38 - 68
FURMAN: HODGES 4, DURDALLER 6, WILKINS 12, MORRISSEY 10 (5 ASSISTS), GRISWOLD 10 (7 REBOUNDS), ROBERTS 2, MURPHY 10, BUTLER 4. FG: 23-60, 3FG: 5-13, FT: 7-8. 33 REBOUNDS, 11 ASSISTS, 21 TURNOVERS.
THREE-POINTERS: MORRISSEY, GRISWOLD, WILKINS.
ASU: SHARKEY 10 (7 REBOUNDS), A.FREEMAN 24 (12 REBOUNDS), GATEWOOD 2, GARY 8, SYDNOR 19, TAYLOR 2, MALLOW 1, C.FREEMAN 2. FG: 24-57, 3FG: 1-3, FT: 19-25. 42 REBOUNDS, 13 ASSISTS, 20 TURNOVERS.
Photo Courtesy: Kelsey Sharkey, ASU Athletics