Appalachian State University women’s basketball hung on late for a thrilling 59-58 win over Southern Conference foe Wofford on Wednesday at Benjamin Johnson Arena.
The Mountaineers (12-3, 6-1 SoCon) led by as many as 14 points in the contest, but were forced to make several defensive stands in
the closing seconds to fend off the Terriers (9-8, 2-6).
Wofford kept the game close throughout the first 11 minutes before the Apps reeled off a 15-5 run to take their first double-digit lead (25-15) on Raven Gary’s jumper with 8:33 left in the first half.
Appalachian State would extend the lead to 14 points (35-21) when Maryah Sydnor hit a layup with 2:50 to play in the first half, but the Terriers netted the final five points of the half to head to the locker room with ASU leading 37-28.
The second half saw Appalachian struggle from the floor as Wofford chipped away at the lead thanks to an 11-4 run to start the half. The Terriers pulled within two points (41-39) at the 15:26 mark before a three-pointer from Katie Mallow ended the run and pushed ASU’s lead back to five points (44-39).
Wofford did not back down and regained the lead (48-47) on Rachel Brittingham’s trey with 8:44 left in the game. The Apps jumped back on top when Sydnor hit a jumper just 22 seconds later to make it 49-48.
The Mountaineers would never trail the rest of the way, though the Terriers were able to tie the game twice in the closing minutes and had two shots with less than a minute remaining, including a potential game-winner from Brittingham at the buzzer that hit back-iron and before bouncing out.
Anna Freeman finished with a team-high 12 points for ASU while Chakeitha Weldon chipped in with six points and six rebounds.
Michelle Taylor finished with eight points and four rebounds in her first collegiate start and Sydnor added eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Wofford was paced by Logan Morris’ game-high 15 points while Daniella Motley notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Morgan Wrightson also finished in double-digits with 13 points.
Appalachian State shot 38.5 percent (15-for-65) from the floor while the Terriers shot 45.8 percent (22-for-48) including a 10-of-12 mark from the charity stripe.
The Apps notched 13 turnovers and forced 28 turnovers while committing 15 turnovers of their own. Wofford won the battle of the boards with a 35-33 edge in rebounds.
ASU returns to action when it plays host to Chattanooga on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Holmes Center before taking on Samford at 6 p.m. on Monday night.
GAME NOTES: ASU forced 10 or more turnovers for the 82nd-straight game... the Apps used their sixth different starting lineup of the season... Kelsey Sharkey came off the bench for the first time in 27-straight regular-season games... she had started 30 of ASU’s past 31 games including games in the postseason... the Mountaineers improved to 50-11 when Freeman scores 10 or more points... the Apps improved to 8-4 in games played in the state of South Carolina since Darcie Vincent arrived in 2008.
ASU 59, WOFFORD 58
SCORE BY PERIODS 1ST 2ND TOTAL
APPALACHIAN STATE..37 22 59
WOFFORD............28 30 58
ASU: C. FREEMAN 7, A. FREEMAN 12, WELDON 6 (6 REBOUNDS), TAYLOR 8, SYDNOR 8 (5 REBOUNDS), SHARKEY 6, EDWARDS 5, GARY 4, MALLOW 3. FG: 25-65, 3FG: 3-13, FT: 6-14. 33 REBOUNDS, 15 TURNOVERS, 13 ASSISTS.
WOFFORD: MOORHOUSE 8 (9 REBOUNDS), MOTLEY 10 (10 REBOUNDS), MORRIS 15, BRITTENHAM 7, WRIGHTSON 13, MASALIN 2, FROST 3. FG: 22-48, 3FG: 4-10, FT: 10-12. 35 REBOUNDS, 28 TURNOVERS, 11 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Taylor, by Dave Mayo, ASU Athletics