Anna Freeman had her third 20-point performance of the season as Appalachian State women's basketball took down Georgia Southern, 64-45, in the 2011-12 Southern Conference opener on Thursday at the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers (5-1, 1-0) never trailed the Lady Eagles (2-5, 0-1) after racing out to a 9-1 lead en route to their first win
over Georgia Southern since the 2008-09 season.
Appalachian State took its first double-digit lead (18-8) on Freeman's layup with 11:21 to go in the first half and led by as many as 14 points (22-8) before Georgia Southern scored six-straight to make it 22-14.
A three-pointer from Katie Mallow gave the Apps a 25-14 lead with just over five minutes left in the first half and the Mountaineers would never lead by less then 10 points the rest of the way.
ASU shot 40.0 percent (12-for-30) in the first half including a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Freeman scored 15 of her game-high 25 points in the first 20 minutes and was 3-for-3 from long range.
Appalachian State kept its foot on the gas in the second half, stretching its lead to 50-28 on Michelle Taylor's fast-break layup with 10:32 to go in the game.
The Lady Eagles would get as close as 15 points on three occasions in the final six minutes, but could not overcome a stifling Mountaineer defense.
In addition to her game-high in points, Freeman also finished with a game-high eight rebounds, five steals, three blocks and two assists.
Courtney Freeman poured in 13 points and grabbed three boards while Mallow added 12 points, two rebounds and a steal.
Georgia Southern, which did not have a player score in double-figures, was paced by Aishya Wofford's eight points. Samantha Williams led the Lady Eagles with six rebounds.
As a team, Appalachian State shot 39.7 percent (23-for-58) from the floor, 66.7 percent (6-for-9) from three-point range and 80.0 percent (12-for-15) from the charity stripe.
The Lady Eagles were held to just 31.3 percent (23-for-58) from the floor and were just 1-for-8 from beyond the arc.
The Mountaineers finished with a 39-34 edge in rebounds, forced 24 turnovers and dished out 14 assists while turning the ball over just 17 times.
Appalachian State returns to action on Monday when it travels to Western Carolina for a 7 p.m. contest against the Catamounts.
GAME NOTES: Appalachian State snapped a four-game losing streak to Georgia Southern... the Mountaineers forced 10 or more turnovers for the 73rd-straight game... A. Freeman had five or more steals for the fourth-straight game... ASU improved to 43-10 when A. Freeman scores 10 or more points... the Apps improved to 23-7 at home since the start of the 2009-10 season... Appalachian State moved to 15-14 all-time in SoCon openers and 11-7 in SoCon openers at home... A. Freeman needs just 81 points to become the 21st player in ASU history with 1,000 career points... the Mountaineers outscored the Lady Eagles 28-18 in the paint, 25-11 off turnovers and 12-0 on the fast break.
ASU 64, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 45
1st 2nd Total
Georgia Southern..........22 23 45
Appalachian State.........35 29 64
GSU: WOFFORD 8, STEEDE 3, WILSON 7, FRYE 6, DUBOSE 2, WILLIAMS 4 (6 REBOUNDS), SPENCER 4, KNIGHT 7, BENZIO 2, SCOTT 2. FG: 15-48, 3FG: 1-8, FT: 14-21. 34 REBOUNDS, 24 TURNOVERS, 10 ASSISTS.
ASU: SHARKEY 3 (7 REBOUNDS), WILLIAMS 2, A. FREEMAN 25 (8 REBOUNDS), C. FREEMAN 13, TAYLOR 4, GARY 3 (4 ASSISTS), MALLOW 12, SYDNOR 2 (6 REBOUNDS). FG: 23-58, 3FG: 6-9, FT: 12-15. 39 REBOUNDS, 17 TURNOVERS, 14 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: ASU Athletics