Appalachian State University women’s basketball handed Southern Conference favorite Chattanooga its first conference loss in a 62-51 victory on Saturday at the Holmes Center.The Mountaineers (13-3, 7-1 SoCon) dominated the second half of play,
outscoring the Lady Mocs (13-5, 8-1) by a 34-22 margin over the game’s final 20 minutes.
After Courtney Freeman hit a three-pointer to open the scoring, Chattanooga used an 8-0 run to take an 8-3 lead that it would not surrender for the duration of the first half.
The Lady Mocs led by as many as 10 points (23-13) with 11:55 left in the opening stanza but the Apps clawed their way back into the game and trailed by just one point (29-28) at the end of the first half.
Despite shooting just 25.0 percent (9-for-36) over the first 20 minutes, ASU used a strong effort from the charity stripe (9-for-10) to keep the score close throughout the opening period of play.
The second half was all Appalachian State as the Mountaineer offense came alive, connecting on 48.0 percent (12-for-25) of its shots in the second half while limiting Chattanooga to just 34.8 percent (8-for-23) from the floor.
Maryah Sydnor opened the second half with a layup to give ASU its first lead (30-29) and start a 13-3 run which propelled the Apps to a 41-32 lead before UTC’s Megahn Downes ended the run with a three-pointer.
Appalachian State led by as many as on two occasions in the final seven minutes, but the Lady Mocs were able to close the gap to five points (52-47) with just under three minutes left to play.
It was the closest Chattanooga would come the rest of the way as the Mountaineers sealed the deal by scoring 10 of the games final 14 points en route to the win.
As a team, the Apps shot 34.4 percent (21-for-61) from the floor including a blistering 86.4 percent (19-for-22) from the charity stripe while the Lady Mocs shot 35.3 percent (18-for-51) for the game but were just 5-for-26 from beyond the arc.
The Mountaineers dominated the glass on both ends, outrebounding Chattanooga by an astonishing 48-25 margin including a 19-4 edge in offensive rebounds.
Sydnor led all players with16 points while snagging four rebounds and collecting three assists and three steals. Anna Freeman finished with 13 points, three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.
Courtney Freeman had a game-high seven rebounds while scoring eight points and Chakeitha Weldon scored seven while ripping down six boards. All nine Mountaineers who played grabbed at least two rebounds.
Chattanooga was led offensively by Whitney Hood’s team-leading 12 points. Hood was the only UTC player to score in double figures as Taylor Hall fell just shy of the mark with nine points.
Appalachian State returns to action at 6 p.m. on Monday when it plays host to defending SoCon Tournament champion Samford.
GAME NOTES: ASU forced 10 or more turnovers for the 83rd-straight game... ASU improved to 51-11 when A. Freeman scores 10 or more points... Sydnor and Michelle Taylor were tabbed for the start for the second-straight game... the Mountaineers upped their winning streak against Chattanooga to three... the Apps are now 13-30 against UTC in teams played in Boone... ASU improved to 27-8 at home over the past three seasons... the Mountaineers are 18-6 in their last 24 SoCon home games and 36-10 in conference games since the start of the 2009-10 season.
ASU 62, UTC 51
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Chattanooga............... 29 22 51
Appalachian State... 28 34 62
UTC: HOOD 12, HALL 9 (6 REBOUNDS), CHRISTOPHER 7, TOWNSEND 3, LAMBERT 4, DOWNES 9, BLACK 5, DUPREE 2. FG: 18-51, 3FG: 5-26, FT: 10-13. 25 REBOUNDS, 13 TURNOVERS, 8 ASSISTS.
ASU: SYDNOR 16, A. FREEMAN 13, WELDON 7 (6 REBOUNDS) TAYLOR 2, C. FREEMAN 8 (7 REBOUNDS), STARKEY 6 (6 REBOUNDS), EDWARDS 6, GARY 4. FG: 21-61, 3FG: 1-7, FT: 19-22. 48 REBOUNDS, 13 TURNOVERS, 12 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Maryah Sydnor, by Dave Mayo, ASU Athletics