Kelsey Sharkey's floater in the lane with 1.7 seconds left gave Appalachian State women's basketball a thrilling, 64-62, win over Eastern Kentucky on the first day of the
Starwood Hotels of Atlanta Georgia State Thanksgiving Classic on Friday, Nov. 25 at GSU Sports Arena.
The Mountaineers (3-1) were able to hold off a furious rally by the Lady Colonels (1-3) to pick up their third-straight victory.
Appalachian jumped out in front by six points (10-4) early in the first half, but EKU reeled off a 21-6 run to take a 25-16 lead on Jalisa Bryant's three-pointer with 7:08 remaining.
ASU responded with its own 11-0 run, fueled by five points from Katie Mallow, to jump back on top by a 27-25 scored with just under five minutes left in the first half.
The Lady Colonels rallied back to take a 34-29 lead with 2:49 on the clock and looked as if they would go into halftime with the lead intact, but Appalachian State would not go away quietly.
Chakeitha Weldon cut the deficit to two points (34-32) with a pair of free throws in the final minute before Sharkey, who rebounded her own missed shot, hit a jumper at the buzzer to tie the game at 34-34 at the end of the half.
Eastern Kentucky came out of the locker room and scored on their first possession to make it 36-34, but the Apps reeled off a 16-3 run to jump out to a 50-39 lead with 11:12 left in regulation.
The Lady Colonels slowly chipped away at the lead before three-consecutive turnovers by ASU resulted in three-straight EKU buckets to cut the deficit to one point (59-58) with just over a minute to play.
A pair of free throws by Anna Freeman extended the lead to 61-58 but Jasmine Stovall's layup with 32 seconds left made it a one-point game (61-60).
Freeman hit the front end of a one-and-one to give ASU a two-point lead (62-60) with 25 seconds remaining before EKU tied it with a pair of free throws by Raechele Gray with just 10 seconds left.
With time running out and overtime looming, Sharkey dribbled the ball inside the three-point line and nearly lost possession before firing up a shot that fell through the basket with just 1.7 ticks left.
Anna Freeman knocked down an EKU pass on a last-ditch inbound play to seal the victory and give the Mountaineers their third-straight win of the season.
Sharkey led Appalachian State with 14 points and fell just shy of a double-double with a team-high nine rebounds. She led all players with a career-high six steals.
Courtney Freeman had 12 points while A. Freeman added 10 of her own to go along with eight rebounds and five steals. Weldon score nine points off the bench and dished out five assists.
Jade Barber had a huge performance for the Lady Colonels with 15 points and 20 rebounds while Marie Carpenter scored 17 off the bench. Gray ended the game with 10 points but turned the ball over five times.
As a team, the Mountaineers shot 37.9 percent (25-for-66) from the floor and 68.4 percent (13-for-19) from the charity stripe. EKU shot 41.8 percent (23-for-55) but committed 26 turnovers.
Appalachian State returns to action tomorrow when it takes on Georgia State at 4 p.m. to close out its holiday trip to Atlanta.
GAME NOTES: A. Freeman's missed free throw with 15:25 to go in the second half ended her string of consecutive free throws made at 14... ASU forced 10 or more turnovers for the 71st-straight game... A. Freeman needs just 105 points to hit 1,000 for her career... The Mountaineers improved to 41-10 when A. Freeman scores in double-figures... Darcie Vincent picked up her first victory in the state of Georgia as head coach at Appalachian... the Apps improved to 8-2 in neutral site contests under Vincent.
ASU 64, EKU 62
1st 2nd Total
Eastern Kentucky..............34 28 62
Appalachian State.............34 30 64
EKU: BARBER 15 (20 REBOUNDS), JONES 2, GRAY 10, COLES 6 (6 REBOUNDS), STOVALL 6, BOOTH 3, BRYANT 3, CARPENTAR 17. FG: 23-55, 3FG: 5-16, FT: 11-17. 40 REBOUNDS, 26 TURNOVERS, 12 ASSISTS.
ASU: SHARKEY 14 (9 REBOUNDS), WILLIAMS 3, A. FREEMAN 10 (8 REBOUNDS), C. FREEMAN 12, WELDON 9, EDWARDS 6, MALLOW 5, SYDNOR 5 (6 REBOUNDS). FG: 25-66, 3FG: 1-8, FT: 13-19. 38 REOUNDS, 18 TURNOVERS, 12 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Kelsey Sharkey, by Meghan Gay, ASU Athletics