Appalachian State University women’s basketball was unable to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit in an 80-71 loss at Southern Conference rival Chattanooga on Monday night. The Mountaineers (23-5, 17-3 SoCon) were able to keep it close throughout much of the first half, but the Lady Mocs (21-8, 16-4) used a late first-half run to separate themselves and send the Apps to just their third
league loss of the season. In what turned out to be a phenomenal first half that saw five ties and five lead changes, Chattanooga would find itself ahead by four points (12-8) before the Mountaineers chipped away and tied the game at 16-16 on a three-point play by Anna Freeman with 12:36 left in the opening period.
A three-pointer from Katie Mallow just moments later would give Appalachian State a 19-18 lead, but the Lady Mocs scored five-straight to take a 23-18 lead that eventually swelled to 25-20 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Raven Gary’s jumper and another three from Mallow would bring the scored back to 25-25 before Chattanooga reeled off an 18-8 run to end the half and take a 43-33 lead into the locker room.
The Mountaineers were able to cut the deficit to just six points (43-37) in the early stages of the second half, but the Lady Mocs staged an 8-2 run to take a 12-point lead (51-39), their largest of the contest, with 16:49 left on the clock. Appalachian State would chip away at the lead, cutting the deficit to just one point (56-55) when Maryah Sydnor hit a layup with just under 12 minutes left to play.
Chattanooga was able to stave off the rally and keep its lead intact, using several three-pointers from Taylor Hall to extend its lead to eight points (66-58) with 7:56 left to play, but the Mountaineers would hang tough, cutting the deficit to just two points (66-64) with five minutes left to play. It was all the Apps could muster, however, as the Lady Mocs hung on to their slim lead to remain unbeaten at home and spoil the regular-season finale for the Mountaineers.
Freeman led Appalachian State with 22 points and six assists while also adding six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Gary poured in a career-high 13 points while Sydnor had 10 to go alone with eight boards. Mallow added nine points off the bench and was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Hall led all players with 24 points for Chattanooga while Whitney Hood had 20. Kayla Christopher and Tenisha Townsend each finished with 11 as the Lady Mocs shot 48.1 percent compared to 44.4 percent for the Apps.
Chattanooga won the battle on the boards by a 37-31 tally and converted 20-of-24 free throws while the Mountaineers went to the line just 10 times, connecting on eight. Appalachian State returns to action on Saturday in the second round of the 2012 Southern Conference Basketball Championships. The opponent and game time has yet to be determined,
GAME NOTES: ASU forced 10 or more turnovers for the 95th-straight game... A. Freeman picked up her 196th career block, giving her the top mark in ASU history... the Mountaineers are 48-12 in SoCon play since the start of the 2009-10 season... ASU lost for the first time when A. Freeman scores 20 or more points (11-1)... the Mountaineers are now 49-21 in the months of January and February under head coach Darcie Vincent.
UTC 80, ASU 71
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Appalachian State....33 38 71
Chattanooga..........43 37 80
ASU: SYDNOR 10 (8 REBOUNDS), A. FREEMAN 22 (6 REBOUNDS, 6 ASSISTS), WELDON 6, GARY 13, C. FREEMAN 6, EDWARDS 5, MALLOW 9. FG: 28-63, 3FG: 7-19, FT: 8-10. 31 REBOUNDS, 12 TURNOVERS, 14 ASSISTS.
UTC: HOOD 20 (7 REBOUNDS), HALL 24 (8 REBOUNDS), CHRISTOPHER 11, TOWNSEND 11 (5 ASSISTS), LAMBERT 4, TOWNS 2, BLACK 2, DUPREE 6. FG: 26-54, 3FG: 8-22, FT: 20-24. 37 REBOUNDS, 14 TURNOVERS, 16 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Raven Gary, ASU Athletics