A career-high 30 points from Maryah Sydnor helped Appalachian State women’s basketball knock off Chattanooga, 77-52, to advance to a second Southern Conference championship game in as many years. The Mountaineers (25-5) will face
Samford on Monday at 5 p.m. for the league title. Sydnor sank 13-of-18 shots and sank all four free-throw attempts to scored the second-most points by an ASU player in a tournament game, and added 10 rebounds with a steal in 36 minutes.
Appalachian opened an early lead in the contest before the Lady Mocs (22-9) pulled back within five points at 33-28 at the intermission. Sydnor and Anna Freeman then combined for the first six points of the second half to extend the lead to double figures. UTC never pulled any closer than eight points the rest of the way as ASU extended its advantage to as many as 27 points before the final horn sounded.
Freeman finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and a pair of assists. Chakeitha Weldon also notched double figures with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting. The guard dished out five of ASU’s 13 assists as well.
Courtney Freeman posted 15 points and seven rebounds to supplement the Appalachian attack. The Apps scored 42 points in the paint and 20 points off of 17 Chattanooga turnovers. The Apps won the battle on the boards by a 41-32 margin as Kelsey Sharkey pulled down 10 rebounds to match Sydnor for the game-high.
For the game, ASU knocked down 50.8 percent of its shots, including 1-of-5 three-pointers. The Mountaineers were a stellar 14-of-16 from the charity stripe. The Apps held Chattanooga to a paltry 28.6 percent shooting and just 9-of-32 three-point accuracy. It was the team’s second-lowest field goal percentage of the season, behind 18.3 percent at Baylor.
In addition, the Mountaineers held two all-SoCon selections, Whitney Hood and Kayla Christopher, to just two combined points in 55 minutes. Taylor Hall recorded a double-double for the Lady Mocs with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Monday’s championship will be broadcast on the SoCon Sports network as well as ESPN3.
GAME NOTES: Appalachian State forced 10 or more turnovers for the 97th-straight game... Sydnor’s 13 made field-goals are tied for the third most in ASU history in a tournament game and were just three-shy of Chattanooga’s total for the game... Appalachian State outscored Chattanooga 42-14 in the paint... the Mountaineers 25-point margin of victory is tied for the second-largest ever against UTC... the Apps are 20-1 this season when scoring 20 or more points off turnovers... Appalachian improved to 4-5 all-time against the Lady Mocs at the SoCon Tournament and snapped a three-game skid to UTC in tourney games... the Apps tied last year’s program-record 25 wins... the Mountaineers improved to 5-1 all-time when playing as the No. 2 seed at the league championships.
ASU 77, UTC 52
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Chattanooga...............28 24 52
Appalachian State...33 44 77
UTC: HOOD 2 (7 REBOUNDS), HALL 14 (11 REBOUNDS), TOWNSEND 9, LAMBERT 13, TOWNS 8, DUPREE 6. FG: 16-56, 3FG: 9-32, FT: 11-15. 32 REBOUNDS, 17 TURNOVERS, 12 ASSISTS.
ASU: SYDNOR 30 (10 REBOUNDS), A. FREEMAN 12 (9 REBOUNDS), SHARKEY 4 (8 REBOUNDS), WELDON 14 (5 ASSISTS), C. FREEMAN 15 (7 REBOUNDS), GARY 2. FG: 31-61, 3FG: 1-5, FT: 14-16. 41 REBOUNDS, 11 TURNOVERS, 13 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Maryah Sydnor, ASU Athletics