|ASU’S SECOND-HALF DOMINANCE BURIES SAMFORD|
|Written by Courtney Burchett|
|Saturday, 15 January 2011 08:23|
Appalachian State University women’s basketball posted a furious second-half rally and was able to keep its home winning streak alive, as the Apps overcame a double-digit halftime decifit to earn a decisive 74-62 win over Samford Friday evening.The victory is not only the Mountaineers’ (11-4, 5-2 SoCon) 14th-straight on their home court but also their first ever against Samford (12-5, 5-3 SoCon) in the Holmes Center.
Finding itself trailing by 17 points at the break, thanks in part to hot shooting by Samford and seven first period three-pointers, ASU mustered a monster comeback, and came alive in second half action.
Once Savannah Hill scored a layup to open up second half play, the Black and Gold outscored the Bulldogs 10-2, as Samford saw its lead dwindle, making the score just 43-32 with a little over 17 minutes remaining.
Hill paced Samford offensively, scoring 16 points, including seven in the first five minutes of the game, while grabbing four rebounds.
Sam Ramirez (Fayetteville, N.C./Southview), Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman) and Anna Freeman (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) all found the bottom of the basket for the Apps and provided a spark for the squad, which continued to gain momentum.
Relentless and not going away quietly, Appalachian chipped away at Samford’s lead pulling within 10 points at the 15:22 mark.
However it was a 21-7 Mountaineer spurt, on the heels of 14 points by Dewart during the run, that enabled Appalachian to notch its first lead of the contest, up 55-53 with 7:21 left to play.
Samford knotted action at 55 apiece, but that would be the closest of margins and ASU would never fall behind again.
It was key buckets down the stretch by Kelsey Sharkey (Cincinnati, Ohio/Saint Ursula), Anna Freeman, Ramirez and Chakeitha Weldon (Atlanta, Ga./Kansas) that saw Appalachian maintain its lead and pick up an exciting 12-point victory over its conference foe.
Anna Freeman and Ramirez also ended the game in double-figures, scoring 18 and 16 points respectively.
Although the second half was thrilling, the outcome appeared bleak during the opening 20 minutes as Samford could not miss, shooting a stout 81 percent from the field through the first eight and a half minutes of play.
Samford’s stellar shooting gave the Bulldogs a commanding 27-12 advantage with six minutes left until halftime.
Things did not get much better for Appalachian, which could not seem to get anything going on the offensive front, as ASU was behind 39-22 at the break.
In a tale of two halves, the Mountaineers posted a complete turnaround and absolutely dominated its conference competitor, outscoring Samford 52-23 in the second half.
Along with shooting an impressive 64.0 percent from the field during the second period, compared to 36 percent in the first, ASU forced a season-high 23 Samford turnovers, while also out-rebounding the Bulldogs.
With little time to rest, ASU remains in the High Country, as the Mountaineers host another league foe in Chattanooga. The Lady Mocs come trek to the Holmes Center Sunday, January 16 with the game slated to start at 2 p.m.
Notes: ASU earned its first-ever win over Samford in the Holmes Center (1-2) … Appalachian has now won 14-straight home games … the 23 second half points by Samford were the lowest Appalachian has held an opponent to all season.
SAMFORD: DAWSON 12, HILL 16, LONDON, 8, ANDERSON 8, KETCHUM 8, CAMPBEL 6, JACK 4. FG: 21-43, 3FG: 9-19, FT: 11-12. REBUNDS: 23, TURNOVERS: 23.
ASU: A. FREEMAN 18, DEWART 21 (7 REBOUNDS), WELDON 7, RAMIREZ 16, PUELLO 5, SHARKEY 4, KELLY 2. FG: 25-50, 3FG: 4-14, FT: 20-25. REBOUNDS: 29, TURNOVERS: 15.
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