Chakeitha Weldon saved one of her best efforts for her final home game as Appalachian State University women’s basketball cruised to an 85-70 win over Southern Conference rival Furman on Monday night. Weldon, one of four ASU seniors, finished with 20 points as the
Mountaineers (22-4, 16-2 SoCon) completed the season-sweep of the Paladins (12-14, 8-9) for the first time in 14 years.
Furman struck first when Teshia Griswold connected from long range just 32 seconds into the contest, but the Apps reeled off a 17-2 run over the next five minutes to grab a 17-5 lead with just over 14 minutes left to play.
The run, during which Weldon scored eight points, gave the Mountaineers the lead for good and never trailed the rest of the way to pick up their 11th home win of the season.
Appalachian State moved ahead by 21 points (33-12) on Weldon’s jumper with 6:25 left in the first half, but the Paladins were able to close the gap to 42-26 at the half.
Furman would use the swing in momentum to its advantage as it posted a 12-4 run to begin the second half and cut the deficit to just eight points (46-38) with 16:49 left to play.
The Mountaineers would see their lead hover near the 10-point mark during the early stages of the half before opening things up with a 13-1 run to extend the lead to 19 points (63-44) with just under 13 minutes remaining.
Appalachian would never lead by less than 13 points the rest of the way and led by as many as 24 points (75-51) before closing things out for its seventh-straight home victory.
Weldon, who led all players in scoring, also dished out six assists, pulled down five rebounds and collected four steals. Maryah Sydnor scored 18 points and ripped down four boards.
Raven Gary set a new career-high with 12 points off the bench and Anna Freeman fell just shy of a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds while posting six blocks.
Griswold led the Paladins with 17 points but was the only Furman player to score in double-figures. Raegan Thompson nearly had a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
As a team, Appalachian State shot 47.2 percent (34-for-72) from the floor while Furman connected on 47.1 percent (24-for-51). The Apps won the battle of the boards by a 42-31 margin and forced 28 Paladin turnovers.
The Mountaineers finish out the regular season with two road games, the first of which takes place at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Samford before a 7 p.m. contest with Chattanooga on Monday.
GAME NOTES: ASU forced 10 or more turnovers for the 93rd-straight game... Appalachian State finished with a 56-28 edge in points in the paint, scored 34 points off turnovers and had 28 points on the fast break.... the Mountaineers are 48-10 in SoCon play since the start of the 2009-10 season... ASU’s seniors combined for 40 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists... Appalachian improved to 33-8 in its last 41 home games, including a 24-6 mark in SoCon play... ASU is 59-11 all time when Freeman scores in double figures... the Mountaineers are now 48-20 in the months of January and February under head coach Darcie Vincent.
ASU 85, FURMAN 70
SCORE BY PERIODS 1ST 2ND TOTAL
Furman............. 26 44 70
Appalachian State.. 42 43 85
FURMAN: HODGES 6 (6 REBOUNDS), GRISWOLD 17, MURPHY 9 (10 ASSISTS), THOMPSON 9 (8 REBOUNDS), BOOKER 7, ROBERTS 5, DURDALLER 5, REIMER 2, PETERSON 7, MORRISSEY 4. FG: 24-51, 3FG: 6-13, FT: 16-29. 31 REBOUNDS, 28 TURNOVERS, 18 ASSISTS.
ASU: SYDNOR 18, A. FREEMAN 10 (8 REBOUNDS), WELDON 20 (6 ASSISTS), GARY 12, C. FREEMAN 2, SHARKEY 5, EDWARDS 6, MALLOW 8, KELLY 1, WILLIAMS 3. FG: 34-72, 3FG: 1-5, FT: 16-27. 42 REBOUNDS, 19 TURNOVERS, 18 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Chakeitha Weldon, ASU Athletics